Shalom Aleichem!

To all Young Israel of Chomedey members and their families.

It’s hard to believe that six months – long and hard winter months – have so quickly passed since the High Holidays, and we are now at the cusp of what we hope will be a mild spring and a sunny summer. The Passover Holidays always bode well for the future, as we all celebrate this beautiful and family-oriented Holiday. For many of us it will be a time to either welcome and/or visit our children and grandchildren, close to home, or further afield in Ottawa, Toronto or elsewhere.

The feedback we had after the High holidays was for the most part positive, and the Executive felt that we were successful in providing the proper “haimishe” atmosphere for our members. On Sukkot we had “weather” problems with a large Sukkah that we had purchased, and then with the help of Rabbi Banon, we obtained at the last minute a rental Sukkah that allowed us to to participate in the Mitzvah of eating in the Sukkah.

During the past six months, your Executive has tried to finish and consolidate most of the projects started prior to Rosh Hashana. We are still working on the Yiskor board; the Yizkor electronic screen has been down for some time due to a number of problems, but is on it’s way to being repaired. Our website is functioning without any problems, and we will be making some small changes, and adding some features in the next few months. It will be the central repository for Young Israel of Chomedey information.

Our Tree of Life is “growing” with new leaves being added almost every few weeks. We are hopeful in having the Chevra Mishnayis Tree of Life up very soon, in one form or another. We have a new Kosher protocol for our kitchen thanks to Rabbi Banon, and a gate is up, ensuring the kashrut of our kitchen. We will soon have a new sink for “Netilat Yadaim” – for washing our hands and reciting the appropriate blessing before eating. Many of these are small but important additions that allow us to fully function as a modern Orthodox shul and to observe the appropriate Mitzvot commensurate with our being an Orthodox shul. Our administration is functioning well, and member’s statements are all up to date, probably for the first time in a dozen years. We had a successful joint Hanukkah party with Shaar Shalom, and a beautiful Purim Party for which the organizers received rave reviews. In the meantime, together with Shaar Shalom, we continue to have Minyans on a regular basis both mornings and evenings, especially on Rosh Chodesh and minor holidays, as well as for members having to say Kaddish. We may have missed a few days here and there, but with the winter exodus to the sunny South, it hasn’t always been easy.

Much still remains to be done. We hope to have a new security system in place in short order, and are still looking to find a way to hang our beloved stained glass windows. After Pesach we will have a new Shabbat Kiddish “protocol” that will feature more diverse Kiddish menus on a rotating basis. Given that we have now reverted to Daylight Savings Time and our Shabbat evening prayers include both Mincha and Ma’ariv, we will also be having a festive “Shalosh Seudos” meal every Shabbat evening. We look forward to seeing many of you there. We will also be looking at repairing, cleaning, and adding to our “Teleisim rack”; it was correctly pointed out to us that many are in need of repair and/or cleaning. Most important of all, we are already deep into discussions with respect to replacing all our benches with uniform comfortable seating for both men and women throughout the shul. This is a major item, and we anticipate having them ready for the High Holidays.

Many of these items will be up for discussion at our General Assembly meeting which will take place in April; the date and time still under discussion. When the date is published, please make every effort to attend, and have your say in how your shul is administered.

At this time, I would be remiss if I did not thank our executive – especially Dave Green and Fred Rudy – for filling in where and where needed during my 10 week absence; a 4-week illness, and then a 6-week recovery down South. Although we were in touch every few days, and the newsletters were filed on time, nevertheless it was Dave and Fred who kept things running, and more than ever I am grateful that they accepted to serve on your Executive. Carl Wooden, our treasurer was kept busy preparing financial statements, and Stanley Plant helped out where he could – to them I am also grateful. To Rabbi Banon, Chazen Sheni Yossi, and to all our Gabbaim, thanks for making the Young Israel of Chomedey a truly wonderful shul. To Mike Andradi and Shaar Shalom members – thank you for working with us, so that we can continue to have Minyans on a daily basis when required. Last but not least, to you our members – thank you for your participation, and for helping make the Young Israel of Chomedey the central address for THE ASHKENAZI COMMUNITY OF CHOMEDEY.

As we celebrate Passover – Chag Ha’Herut – the Holiday of Freedom – let us be thankful to Hashem for the freedoms we have here in Canada, especially when we see what is happening around the world. Let us resolve to be more active in our Synagogue, even if it’s attending only one Minyan a week. As I said previously, it is YOUR shul, help make it a better and more inclusive place for all of us.

On behalf of my wife Zila, and on behalf of our entire Executive, it is my pleasure to wish each and every one of you – Chag Pesach Kasher v’Sameach, a Happy and Kosher Pesach. May we all continue to enjoy the freedoms we have, and may Hashem grant us health and happiness, at this time and throughout the year, so that we can all celebrate “SHANA HABAH b’YERUSHALAYIM – NEXT YEAR IN JERUSALEM.”

Issie Baum

Click here to download the pdf President’s message Spetmber 2017