Monday, November 12, 2012

Renaissance Now!

From the pages of Kadima, the newsletter of Congregation Adas Emuno:

A Message From Our President

Dr. Lance Strate

Renaissance Now!

Bob Dylan once wrote that whoever's "not busy being born is busy dying." Life is a continual process of rebirth, of renaissance and renewal, growth and learning, adaptation and evolution, discovery and innovation. Life is dynamic action, not an object that's static and unchanging. And what is true for each one of us is true for ourselves collectively, for our congregation as well. Is Adas Emuno busy being born, or busy dying? That is a decision we have to make, individually and collectively, right now, and year after year after year.

And the good news is that we have been busy being born, with well attended, spiritually uplifting holiday and Shabbat services, exciting and inspiring religious school education, a new temple youth group, a resurgence of social action activity, stimulating adult education programming and exceptionally well-attended Torah study sessions, and amazing musical performances, including the return by popular demand of the Heritage Ensemble on December 1st (see our previous posts,
The Heritage Ensemble--You Won't Want to Miss This! and Shira Lissek to Join Heritage Ensemble on Saturday). We have the beginnings of a true renaissance at Adas Emuno! But we're only just getting started, there are many challenges we must face, and we need your help.

And yes, that means we need your financial support. As Beth Ziff put it in her Yom Kippur Appeal, "with your contributions we survive, with your contributions we maintain our home, school, and sanctuary." And she went on to ask us to "give because you want this place, this wonderful, intimate, spiritual place to be here whenever you need it."

We've made it easier than ever to provide financial support for our shul. You can now donate online, on our website, and here on our blog—just look for the donate menu and button, and you'll be able to use your credit or debit card to make a donation via PayPal, and when you do, you'll be able to add a note to indicate any acknowledgement you'd like to see in our newsletter (or send us an email at board at

And do you ever order anything from If so, please order through the portal we've created on our website and blog. If you do, Amazon will give somewhere between 3-9% (depending on what's ordered) of your purchase price to Adas Emuno. And we'll be setting up an online Judaica store soon as well.

We will be organizing several fundraising events over the coming year, including an Adas Emuno Talent Show. We need to count on your support and participation in making these efforts happen, and making them a success. And we welcome your ideas for new and innovative fundraising possibilities.

In his Rosh Hashanah morning sermon, Rabbi Schwartz spoke of how we build and grow our community by sharing our gifts. Giving of yourself, your talents, your efforts, your time, is essential if we want to remain busy being born. Volunteers keep Adas Emuno alive, so please answer the call when it goes out, or let us know that you're willing to serve on one of our committees or help out with an event. Let us know about your talents and abilities, availabilities and interests. And please, don't just be willing to volunteer, waiting to be asked. Step up and volunteer to volunteer!

There are so many ways to participate, to make your presence felt on behalf of our congregation, to make a difference. So let's all join together, work together, and get busy being born.

I used the title Renaissance Now! for this column (actually, I stole it from my friend, the writer Douglas Rushkoff), to describe what I think is beginning to take place at Adas Emuno, what we've been building up to over the past several years, but also to express what I believe is our potential, what I believe is possible if we are willing to make it so. The Adas Emuno Renaissance is a hope for the future, and it is happening right now.

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