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The High Holidays come and bring with them opportunities for self-assessment. Where are we in our lives? Where have we missed the mark over the past year? How have we succeeded? What are our weaknesses? What our strengths?

Not only do we address these and other issues in our process of Heshbon Nefesh, our accounting of our souls, but we may also discover a renewed interest in learning about Judaism, Jewish history and traditions, or in new modes of spiritual expression. Our Jewish batteries may be recharged, urging us to do more, to be a bigger presence in the community.

This season offers such opportunities. From Slichot services the weekend before Rosh Hashanah onward, there are opportunities to pray, learn, and to spend time in a Jewish context. New classes begin right after the Holidays, with a Taste of Judaism series focusing on the basics of Judaism, a good beginner class or a refresher class, and a new discussion class, Jew-cy Issues, which will focus on current events and social issues from the perspective of the Jewish tradition.

First, in August, we are privileged to have Rabbi Jeff Salkin join us for a scholar-in-residence weekend. Rabbi Salkin is an exceptional speaker and educator whose focus is on tachlis, getting beyond the buzzwords and shallow emotions of our religious tradition or our culture, and getting to the heart of what they really should mean. You will find a full description of Rabbi Salkin’s visit and four presentations in this Bulletin. We hope you will join us for that special weekend, August 24-26. All are welcome.

May this Jewish New Year 5779 be one of health, happiness, joy, and intellectual and spiritual fulfillment for you and for your loved ones. L’shanah tovah tikateivu! May we all be inscribed in the Book of Life and Blessing for a good year!

Rabbi David Kaufman