HAPPY 65TH BIRTHDAY
Time was that when celebrating one’s 65th birthday meant eligibility for full Social Security, a gold watch from the boss and a pension (remember those?). In the life of a synagogue, this milestone, once a time for joyous celebration, has sadly all too often come to mean that it was time to remove the mezuzah from the doorpost and bid farewells to long-time friends. I’m certain we’ve all witnessed such events and can attest to having experienced the tug at the heart that accompanies hearing of the dissolution of what once was a vibrant congregation.
This month, the Malverne Jewish Center celebrated its 65th anniversary and I’m pleased to report what we already know; our beloved shul is not only very much alive but it’s getting better all the time as the celebration event demonstrated. Friends of many years got together and shared stories of MJC over the years and told of those who contributed so much to the life and vibrancy of our shul.
Who can say they were not deeply affected by the reminisces of Florence Lewis Baker, a founding member of our congregation, as she spoke about MJC’s early days and members of its congregation and clergy?
Florence was joined by others who related fond memories of our shul’s past. Memories were certainly abounding as friendships were renewed by old friends who had lost contact over the years and were able to catch up with each other and reignite their friendship. Certainly a fantastic event, enjoyed by all.
Thank you so much, Lottie Tartell and your committee, for conceiving the event and for your hard work in making it the overwhelming success that it turned out to be.
Now that the birthday celebration is fading in the rear-view mirror, events leading up the High Holidays and the holidays themselves are taking precedence. Honors and selected readings are in the process of being assigned and the Berger Room is being made ready for services. Carl Dropkin, David Elkodsi and Amy Zuckerman, who will be assisting Rabbi Elkodsi conduct services, are hard at work becoming familiar with their roles.
And finally, Rabbi Elkodsi will be conducting several programs around the holidays and beyond designed to make services more meaningful and for our participation in the 2019 Global Day of Jewish Learning. Information regarding these programs are available on our website and can also be obtained by calling the office.
As I reported last year, our shul is quite healthy, both in terms of our finances and more importantly, as evidenced by the continued strength of the bonds and affection we have for each other. Our members for the most part have long histories (i.e., 65 years’ worth) of raising families within the MJC community and have always been there for each other when the need presented itself. This has always been our strong point and am optimistic beyond any doubt that it will remain firmly intact and keep us going as a congregation.
We won’t be removing our mezuzah from our doorpost any time soon. Rather, as we emerge from our 65th Anniversary celebration, we can only expect these bonds to continue to strengthen. These bonds, which underlie the vitality of our shul are, as the song goes: “Like berries on the vine, if you can sit and wait, if you can hesitate, they get better with time” (Happy 65th Birthday, by Andrea Carter).
At this time of reflection and renewal, Emilee and I would like to extend our best wishes to you and your family for a New Year filled with good health, family nachas only the good things that life has to offer.
I look forward to seeing you at High Holiday services and at our services and events throughout the year.
Dave Feldman, President