High Holidays

Dear Chevra,
We are committed to providing a safe and spiritually enriching High Holidays for all of our members, family and guests. We are offering a variety of services options so that everyone can find their place of comfort in our welcoming and “Haimisch” Shul. We will have indoor services (Sanctuary). Outdoor services (under our large tent) and a Backyard Satellite service (with a limited attendance). There is a place for everyone at the MFJC. The masking requirements will not be decided until later in the month. We are waiting to finalize the rules so that we can make decisions based on the latest information available at that time. For the time being, we are seeing what other Synagogues have decided and I am reporting what we hear as a guidance, but not as a final decision. 
The rules we are seeing elsewhere is that indoor services will be for vaccinated adults only. Many Synagogues are requiring proof of vaccination, but we prefer to stay on the Honor System in our supportive Shul and trust that everyone will abide by this trust of honor. I also expect that we will require full masking in the Sanctuary Service. If someone needs a break from wearing their mask, they can step outside for a few minutes and then return with their mask on. This also means that no children under 12 can be seated in the sanctuary service. There will be a children’s service under our smaller tents as well as family seating under the larger tent outdoors. I expect, but cannot confirm, that masking will be strongly urged but not mandated in the outdoor areas. I also hope that unvaccinated members and guests will remain masked full time and sit towards the rear of the tent. Some of our members are medically vulnerable and we need to be very careful. We have been respectful of each other’s needs all year and I have no doubt that this will continue through the High Holidays. 
Both Indoor and Outdoor service will have separate Men’s and Women’s sections as well as a mixed seating area. Please indicate on the Seating Form, what your needs are for seating and any other special accommodations. Backyard Satellite Seating can be requested at the home of one of our members. We have a space for everyone.
We started a very successful program last year with a Holiday Gift Bag for everyone in our “Shul Family”. We are continuing this again this year and hopefully it can become a tradition. This year we will ask members to pick them up at the Shul rather than home delivery.  This year we will be sending Holiday boxes to all member children away at college at no cost. They are in our hearts while they are away.  Please make sure that the Office has the necessary mailing information. We will also offer to send gift boxes to others you designate at a cost of $36. I will be sending Holiday boxes to my 2 grandsons in college. Please follow my lead if you have grandchildren in college or other family members you want to honor with a Holiday box.
Our Financial needs are clearly important. Keeping our Shul in good financial condition is our shared responsibility. There is no one else. We are keeping our Dues structure the same, without any increase, once again. We want our Shul to be affordable to all. Having said that, it is clearly important that those members that can afford to take a upgraded membership, need to do so. Our Shul could not survive financially if relied on our Dues Schedule alone. As we are not increasing our Dues, please considering moving “up” from your prior membership level. We need it.
The same holds true for our High Holiday pledge (also called Kol Nidre Pledge by many). Last year we had 100 donations to this pledge request, which was wonderful. But this still only represents a 70% participation rate. We need to aim for a 100% response rate. Every gift is appreciated. Please give at any level that is within your means and feels right to you. Last yer we created incentive gift levels at $180, $360 and $540. We will be offering new gifts again this year, as well as adding a $1,000 gift level. Please join me at the highest level you can afford. This is our major fund raiser for the year. We also will be offering our Silent Aliyah Auction. Please support that initiative as well for yourself, family member, or honor a good friend by buying them a High Holiday Aliyah. They will appreciate it!
You can see that there is much to consider and choose for the High Holidays. We want to make this a special and warm Holiday for everyone. Above all, we want to keep everyone safe.

Shannah Tova!
Ron Brandt

Mailing Address

P.O. Box 202
Mt. Freedom, NJ 07970

Synagogue Address

1209 Sussex Turnpike
Randolph, NJ 07869

Contact Us

Phone — (973) 895-2100
Fax — (973) 447-7646
Email — office@mtfjc.org

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