A Message from the President

             Alan Lessack
Al Lessack.jpg

Let me begin by wishing all of our members and their families a happy New Year, one that is filled with many simchas, good health and peace in this troubled world. At this time last year, we started off our season with services on Zoom and only returned to a combination of in-person and Zoom services this past Spring.


Our program committee provided a series of interesting and informative lectures and films that were well received. Rabbi’s Saturday morning educational classes continued with a stalwart group participating. In this issue and on-line you will find a list of all our High Holiday services, starting with Selichot.


We will continue to monitor and follow the latest health directives to ensure maximum safety to all in attendance. Our High Holiday services are always deeply moving, thanks to Rabbi’s provocative sermons and the emotions evoked by the stirring music, beautifully sung by Cantor Simon and accompanied by Abbey Allison.


As you are aware, Pastor John Danner retired in the spring, and a new Pastor has been hired who will be joining the Sanibel UCC in mid-September. Pastor Mark Boyea, like Pastor Danner, has a long history of working with Jewish congregations and we look forward to meeting him and having him join us at a service during the fall.


Cantor Simon has announced his retirement following High Holiday services. Murray, along with his talented wife, Toby, has become very much a part of the Bat Yam family. Shortly after Cantor Simon began here at Bat Yam, he convinced the Board to support a series of annual Cantorial Concerts, which drew a substantial audience from Bat Yam as well as the UCC.


We thank both Murray and Toby for enriching our lives. Know that they will always be considered members of the Bat Yam family. When the Cantor informed me of his retirement, I formed a search committee headed by Judy Adler. The committee members have been diligent in their efforts and narrowed the candidates down to two finalists; one will be chanting services on August 26 and the other on September 2, after which the committee will submit its recommendation for our next cantor. We will keep the Congregation informed of the committee’s recommendation. At that point, I will provide the names of the committee members.


The 2022 Honey From The Heart Program was a resounding success. 


Let me conclude by praising the dedicated officers, board members and many volunteers whose time, hard work and counsel keep Bat Yam on an even keel and move us forward as we grow. To enhance that growth, we need to reach out and invite others to share the experience of the warm and welcoming atmosphere that makes Bat Yam special. We need to invite them to services, classes and events. Then we need to invite them to join us as members.


Alan Lessack, President