Jewish National Fund - We Only Have ONE ISRAEL

Letters to the Editor

Dear Friends,

This new year will be one of special significance for Central Synagogue. By now you probably know of the devastating fire that has scarred our sanctuary. The building, a national historic landmark, was severely damaged: its roof collapsed inward destroying the many pews beneath, and the beautifully stenciled artwork on its walls suffered greatly from smoke and water damage. The organ too was crushed.

Amidst our sorrow, we do however, have reason to thank God. Most importantly, we thank God that no lives were lost and that no serious injuries occurred. We thank God, too, that our Torah scrolls were rescued and that our ark survived, as if protected by God Himself. We thank God for the firefighters who preserved for us the foundations and the walls upon which we will rebuild. And we thank God for the overwhelming outpouring of love and support from our neighbors and friends around the city, the country, and the world.

In ways impossible to have imagined but two weeks ago, we at Central Synagogue have discovered that trauma walks hand in hand with hope. And as we would wish all of you a year of sweetness and blessing, we would extend to you this hope. As we have gained tremendous knowledge about who we are as synagogue community, so may each of you come to know yourselves better as individuals. As we have found well-springs of strength we did not know existed within us, so may each of you be strengthened. As we have come to feel the kinship of the many who are reaching out to us, so may this new year draw you closer to others in friendship and in love. As we carry before us the vision of a glorious day when, with song and dance and Torahs held high, we will burst back into our sanctuary, so may you dream great dreams for the year ahead. And may we all have the patience and the courage to make our dreams come true.

L'shanah Tovah Tikateivu,

Rabbi Peter J. Rubinstein
Rabbi Joshua M. Davidson
Rabbi Sarah H. Reines
Cantor Jordan S. Franzel

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