We built it. And we came.
We came with our children. We came with our parents and grandparents. We came with cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.
Over 1000 of us came to celebrate the Housewarming and Dedication of our new and renewed spaces, and to light the first Chanukah candle, on Sunday, December 2nd. And we all came with joy in our hearts at the sight of what we’re accomplishing as a congregation.
The scene was breathtaking as the clouds broke on a rainy, overcast early afternoon, and our glass enclosed Central Atrium became bathed in sunlight at about 2:30 pm, the start of our event. Sun reflected off the new Jerusalem stone floor and bounced off the original 1938 poured concrete walls, now on the eastern interior of the Atrium.
Delicious appetizers were served throughout the space on all 3 levels. There were games and balloons for the kids. We hung our new mezuzah. Our combined choirs sang in tribute. A giant ribbon was cut before the large gathering.
Then we moved into the Sanctuary for an inspirational Ceremony that featured a gorgeous performance by Cantor Maissner of a specially commissioned original composition of Pirchei Kodesh, speeches from Renewal Steering Committee members and a Dedication from Rabbi Splansky. And, to cap it off, the lighting of the first Hanukkah candle, followed by a stirring and entirely apt singing of Shehechiyanu.
Hopefully, these photos give you some sense of the energy, importance and genuine sense of community we all felt in our new Beit Knesset, our House of Gathering, on the day.
And just a final note that, although we opened the nearly-competed space on Dec 2nd for our Housewarming, there is still some final finishing work to do, as well as the process of obtaining occupancy from the City and then moving in our staff. We expect to be opening our doors, and ready to fully occupy the new spaces on a daily basis, in early January.
More wonderful fundraising news
We’ve raised another $200,000 (!) since we wrote you in our last [email protected] Blossom update 2 weeks ago. That puts our total at over $29.4 million, ever closer to completing our Phase 1 fundraising objectives. And momentum is building with more and more congregants contacting us every day.
Our goal is for every congregant to say “Hineini” – Here I am – and to make a personally meaningful gift. To this end, we’re reaching out, one by one, to every congregant over the next number of months. So that we can all share in the joy of what we’re accomplishing together.
Meanwhile, if you feel inspired to give, there is no need to wait for our call. Our Director of Development Jonathan Ain, is eager to speak to you today. Jonathan can be reached at [email protected] or 416.789.3291 ext. 249.
As always, we thank you for all your support, financial and otherwise, of our Renewal Project.