High Holy Days 5782: Thank you to all
This year’s High Holy Days was another experiment. Last year was our first (and hopefully our only) season of online services. This year was our first season of multi-access or hybrid services. Once again, there was a pretty steep learning curve and once again, everyone rose to the occasion to create a meaningful and uplifting experience for all.
Temple President Avra Rosen and Gerry Prendergast, the Vice President of the Department of Worship, join me in wishing everyone another round of blessings for the New Year and another round of thanks for the MANY people who contribute skill and precious time to make our ten study sessions and twenty-one services – in the Main Sanctuary, in The Tent, and Online — so successful. It takes a village.
I look forward to a year filled with opportunities to pray, learn, remember and celebrate together. May it come in good health and with ease.
Shabbat Shalom, Chag Sameach and L’Shanah Tovah.
Rabbi Yael Splansky
In addition to our Rabbis and Cantors, many congregant-volunteers and professionals help to lead our many and varied services. Thanks to their talents and devotion, we are able to offer services designed especially for families, for young professionals, for little kids, big kids, and teens. They are: Lisa Isen Baumal, Michael Cole, David Gershon, Avishai Sol, Jesse Sol, and Dr. Mark Weinstock.
Our Torah and Haftarah Readers bring honour to our sacred texts. They practice for months to ensure every letter and every note elevates the occasion. Under the leadership of Cantorial Soloist Lindi Rivers they are: Daniel Abramson, Ruby Abramson, Ellie Davidson, Jeff Denaburg, Matthew Diamond, Helena Fine, Mila Freedman, Dr. David Greenberg, Suzanne Hersh, Caroline Ingvaldsen, Lisa Isen Baumal, Jill Kamin, Gail Kerbel, Marc Levy, Brian Lidsky, Ellen Lupu, Lindsay McLean, Mike Morgulis, Eric Petersiel, Brenda Saunders, Ted Shafran, Audrey Shiner, Jenny Shiner, Adam Sniderman, Adam Sol, Eli Sol, Corrie Spetter, Robert Steiner, Lucas Warwick, and Paula Warren.
Our Gabbaim helped to keep all the rituals running smoothly in The Tent. Under the leadership of Jill Hertzman our High Holy Day Gabbaim are: Mark Anshan, Susan Baskin, Phyllis Denaburg, Etienne Kaplan, Eric Kirsh, David Mock, and Avra Rosen.
Our Virtual Atrium Hosts enabled an online space for everyone to meet and greet after services. Extra thanks to Karen Abells for recruiting and training our Atrium Hosts. They are: Jeff Denaburg, Jack Kugelmass, Mark Schlossberg, and Alexis Singer
Our Shofar Blowers call us to attention throughout the month of Elul and ring in the new year with kavanah (soulful intension). Under the leadership of Cantor Rosen they are: Michael Cole, Peter Dan, Steven Dan, David Gershon, Howard Goodman, Rabbi Helfman, Joel Lehman, Tal Maissner, Rachel Malach, Robin Malach, Sam Sapera, Eli Sol, Paula Warren, Dr. Mark Weinstock.
Our Ushers and Greeters fulfill the essential mitzvah of hospitality, ensuring that everyone in the Sanctuary and The Tent is comfortable and safe. This required extra care, coordination, and attention this year. Under the leadership of Gerry Prendergast, Bob Cooper, Corinne Black, Rabbi Goodman, and Sean McCavery, our High Holy Day Ushers and Greeters are:
Denise Gordon Chow
We thank Andrew Kirsch, chair of our Security Committee and the representatives of Toronto Police and Fire who together with our security professionals ensure our safety.
Under the direction of Cantor Rosen, our Temple Singers and Professional Choir lifted the words of the Machzor (High Holy Day Prayerbook) off the page and transformed them into sincere prayer. Under the direction of our Musician in Residence, Jason Jedstadt, our musicians filled our sanctuary and stirs our souls with the sounds of our tradition.
Paul Ormandy, Beth Silver, and Laurence Schaufele
Many thanks to Judy Malkin and Karen Abells, from the Worship Committee for overseeing the dozens of congregants who carry mitzvah-honours throughout our High Holy Day services.
Thanks to Rabbi Splansky and Sharoni Sibony, our Adult Education Coordinator, we enjoyed ten Study Sessions on Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur afternoons.
We thank these congregants and Rabbi for teaching us: David Bezmozgis, Miriam Borden, Jack Kugelmass, Rabbi John Moscowitz, Dr. Heather Shapiro, Tema Smith, Professor Mark Webber, and Susan Cohen, Michael Cole, Howard Roger, and Shiela Smolkin from the Holy Blossom Archives Committee
We thank these congregants for acting as online Hosts for the study sessions: Julia Brandwin-Glait, Levi Cassidy, Tabitha Grove, Avram Musafija, Howard Roger, Lisa Sklar, Adam Sol.
We thank Alison Schwartz, VP of Development Department, Joan Garson, the Alignment Committee, and the Sponsorship Committee for inviting fellow congregants to the mitzvah of meaningful tzedakah. We are grateful to our congregant-donors who have so generously sponsored elements of this year’s High Holy Day season.
High Holy Day Livestreaming
Wendy and Elliott Eisen & Carole and Bernard Zucker and families
The Family Tent
Jeff & Ilsa Blidner and family
Opening The Doors
With gratitude to a group of generous donors, we honour the legacy of Holy Blossom Temple Past Presidents
Gifts of Song
In honour of Agnes and Laszlo Lantos
Joanne & Garry Foster
Saul & Viviane Ship
Ellen T. Cole
Holy Blossom Temple Brotherhood
Children’s Sweet New Year Treats
High Holy Days Family Activity Kit
Judy & Jack Winberg
Salsburg Family Fund
We thank our incredible team of professionals who prepare our campus, coordinate communications, run our livestream, and attend to every detail, so the holydays run smoothly, and every congregant is welcomed. They are:
We thank our Klei Kodesh (Clergy Team), Rabbi Yael Splansky, Rabbi Jordan Helfman, Rabbi Zachary Goodman, Cantor David Rosen, and Cantorial Soloist Lindi Rivers.
And finally, we thank our new Executive Director, Rachel Malach, who jumped in with both feet to oversee all the pieces of the High Holy Day puzzle to ensure they come together as one seamless whole.
P.S. If we have inadvertently missed someone first, please forgive us – next Yom Kippur is a long way off! And then, please let us know so we can add your name or correct the spelling for proper acknowledgment. Just drop a note to Deanna Levy ([email protected]) and we’ll be sure to make the correction right away.