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Rabbi Circle 2020-2021

Are you ready to elevate yourself and others?

It has been one of the greatest honors of my life to serve as the spiritual leader of Congregation Shaarei Kodesh over these last eleven years.  My tenure began during a tumultuous and once in a generation (or so we thought) moment:  The Great Recession.  I will never forget that year as our fledgling community persevered, becoming stronger and actually growing when so many other communities were not as fortunate.  We never turned anyone away who was looking for a spiritual home for themselves and their families. No matter how little they could give, we would always find a place for them here at Congregation Shaarei Kodesh. We remain committed to this vision of community.  We know that this year has been filled with so many factors and unknowns that are completely out of our control.  In confronting the realities of this situation, my family and I decided to forgo my contracted pay increase in order to help support our congregation.     

Over these last eleven years, we have instituted many fundraising programs where we have noticed something interesting:  a small group of committed congregants have been our greatest financial supporters year after year.  This small circle of chaverim allows for the rest of our community to thrive and experience the beauty of our holy congregation. We are hoping to expand that circle to include you.

The Board of Trustees and I are asking you to participate in a new fundraising initiative called The Rabbi’s Circle. This initiative will recognize the generosity of our key contributors, as well as helping to secure the financial future of our congregation. This initiative can be combined with your Kol Nidre Pledge to bring you to a higher level of giving.

The metaphor of a circle is powerful in our history.  In ancient times, landowners harvested their crops in a circle, leaving the corners of their fields for the food insecure.  During times of crisis, like an extreme drought, when our nation’s very lives were at stake, a famous man named Honi famously drew a circle and called out to God:  “Master of the Universe, I will not move from this circle until you have mercy upon Your children!”  Rain began to drip, but only within the circle.  Honi cried out, “It is not for this that I have prayed, but for heavier rains to fill cisterns, ditches and caves!”  In other words, he was not praying for rain only for himself, but to sustain the entire nation.  We hope that the circle that we draw together at CSK will help to sustain our congregation, not just for this year, but for many years to come. 

Based on your commitment to CSK, we are asking you to participate in The Rabbi’s Circle.  You and other members of this special group will become the circle that will ensure that our kehillah continues to serve our congregants and thrive.  I am humbly asking you to join me and others in our congregation to help secure our financial future. 

Rabbi David Baum


Thu, August 5 2021 27 Av 5781