Looking Forward to the Next Three Months at Solel

by John Lewsen, November 30, 2022

Over the past few months, I have felt a wonderful sense of reconnection as more members have become comfortable attending services in the sanctuary.

Our special services, events and celebrations have been well attended including the Simchat Torah Family Service, the Kristallnacht Program, and the recent special service to honour our Virtual B’nei Mitzvah Students. Bet-Sefer Solel too has been buzzing on Sunday mornings with a group of new students who are excited to be part of the program. We have had several new member enquiries and twelve new families have joined Solel since our AGM. For the first time since the pandemic, our parking lot and sanctuary have been full or close to full on several occasions. Meanwhile, our live stream participation has remained active, and we also held our first Erev Shabbat virtual Oneg hosted by our board member, Faith Ellen.

This summer Rabbi Audrey Pollack completed her important seven-year milestone as Solel’s Senior Rabbi and is now due for a well-earned Sabbatical which she will be taking in three parts. Our December 17 Shabbat morning service will be her last service year before taking a short vacation followed by part one of her Sabbatical in January and February 2023, returning in early March in time for Purim.

We have a full and varied slate of Shabbat and Erev Shabbat services planned while Rabbi Pollack is away. Some will be led by members of our congregation. Others will be led by a roster of rabbinical leaders including a Hebrew Union College-trained Cantor and Solel ‘s Rabbi Emeritus, Larry Englander. This will be a wonderful opportunity for our members to hear from and experience services led by other Reform leaders from the Greater Toronto area. Watch the Weekly Shammas for details.

Next weekend, our board member, Dave Gordon will be leading his enthusiastic team of latke chefs for his annual Latke cook-in in anticipation of Solel’s first indoor Channukah celebrations since the start of the pandemic. Our December 18 Chanukah celebration will be a great opportunity to party, sing, light your chanukiahs, eat latkes — and convey our best wishes to Rabbi Pollack for her Sabbatical.

Finally, thanks go to Rabbi Pollack and Arliene Botnick for planning and setting up this thoughtful sabbatical coverage – and to Solel’s expanding cadre of impressive volunteer service leaders, musicians, chanters and latke chefs.


Filed under: President's Message

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