Rabbi – OUR YEAR IS IN FULL SWING – Nov 2018


Susan Elkodsi
The marathon that is the High Holy Day season is over, and we now return to your regularly scheduled programs. We had wonderful attendance at Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services with many new and returning worshippers. I was thrilled to have my colleague and friend Rabbi Leslie Schotz join me on the bima; her calm manner and spiritual presence certainly enhanced our services. Sukkot followed, with services both at the Malverne and Valley Stream Jewish Centers, a terrific “Sukkot Across America” program that included Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and a juggling workshop. Simchat Torah capped it all off as our president, Dave Feldman, was honored as the Hatan Bereshit – “The Groom of Bereshit.”

Our year is in full swing with our “text travel” discussion group which will soon be followed by a bi-weekly study group looking at the book of Kohellet, Ecclesiasties, and how this piece of Wisdom Literature can help us to create meaning and purpose in our lives as we age. More programs are coming up; flyers have been sent out and information is also included in this newsletter.

I spend a lot of time thinking about Jewish continuity and Jewish community, and how to create a sacred community in our synagogue that will meet the needs of both our current congregants and those who aren’t yet congregants. Jews express their Judaism – they “do Jewish” – in a variety of ways. In a sense (and I owe credit to a webinar I watched) when a person “buys” a product or service, what they’re really doing is “hiring” it to do a job for them. What job does the synagogue do for you? Does it feed your spirit, your soul or your body? What does it give you that you might not be able to get elsewhere? And how can we improve our “resume” to make us more hire-able?

I hope you’ll give some thought to these questions, and share those thoughts with me.

This year, 5779, marks the Malverne Jewish Center’s 65th anniversary. The fact that we’re here to celebrate this milestone is a testament to the charter members who got together to build this synagogue and community, and to all who followed and keep the synagogue going. We’re looking forward to great programs and new opportunities in the coming year.

I hope your year of 5779 is off to a sweet start!

Rabbi Susan Elkodsi


October 27, 2018

Shavua tov doesn’t seem to be an appropriate greeting, after the shalom (peace) of Shabbat was shattered this morning by a lone gunman in Pittsburgh.

We are shocked and saddened by today’s shooting in Pittsburgh. May our prayers, words and actions provide some comfort to those who were present at services today. May we pray for and work for a world where differences are settled over a cup of coffee or tea, where firearms are not used for destruction, and where all people will be safe in their communities and houses of worship.

Something like this affects all of us, and it’s important to come together to share our grief and our concerns. Please know that my door is open; this affects everyone, Jewish or not.

We share the grief of those who are bereaved, we pray that the memories of those who died will be for blessing, that the Omnipresent One will comfort and strengthen their loved ones. May those who were physically injured heal quickly and completely, although we know the emotional and spiritual hurt will last far longer.