Presidents Message​  May - August 2016

Friday April 22nd was a very special evening as we celebrated both Shabbat and the first Seder. One hundred twenty-four people were in attendance. Fifteen percent of those in attendance were non-members; they heard about our Seder and wanted to be with other Jews - all celebrating this defining moment in the history of our people.


Passover sends a clear message that is as relevant today as it was thousands of years ago. Freedom from slavery and oppression; a safe place to live and raise families; fighting intolerance. Today’s reality is that there are at least fifteen million people suffering under some form of slavery and/or oppression. Look at the millions of people escaping from their homes, seeking a safer place to live. The rising tide of anti-Semitic incidents in Europe and random attacks on members of our community are on the rise. French Jews are leaving their country, preferring to move to Britain or Israel.
 

As a vibrant part of the Jewish community, we need to raise our voices, combating ALL types of bigotry - racism, xenophobia and homophobia. We must find and lend support to organizations that have the knowledge and resources to fight intolerance.
 

In a few months, you will receive your membership renewal letter. I am reminded again that Temple Bat Yam is the Jewish presence on Sanibel, Captiva and Fort Myers. We are a year round operation providing a place where Jews can come together to pray, socialize, learn and say Kaddish for loved ones. During the summer, members of the congregation continue to run services every Friday night. The summer gives us an opportunity to renew our energies and to think about ways in which we can serve not only our members, but the larger community as well. To do this, we need your financial support. Please respond to our membership renewal
campaign when you receive your mail.

 

Alan Lessack
President, Bat Yam