Dear KH family and friends,
Lately, I’ve been feeling as though my head is spinning. There are so many issues and problems that are begging for our attention, so much in this world that is desperately in need of repair.
Antisemitism is out of control in our nation and moving into our own community in nasty, ugly ways.
Women fear losing the right to make decisions about their own bodies, due to the efforts of men who want to control them under the guise of caring about babies.
Books are being banned from our schools and libraries, and school administrators are bowing to the demands of noisy disrupters whose stated goal is to overturn democratic processes, not protect children.
Our LGBTQ neighbors, friends, and family members fear that they are being forced back into the closet by others who want to deny them their rights, who seem to want to deny their very existence.
The war in Europe is causing incomprehensible destruction in Ukraine and millions of refugees. The fear that it can spill over into other European nations is real.
The past two years of Covid have been hard. So much isolation. So much stress. What bothers us the most is that we don’t know when it will end, or if it will end. Covid has touched all of us, and affected our congregation in untold ways.
But the amazing truth is that in many ways Kol HaNeshama is stronger than ever. New members and friends are stepping forward into leadership roles. Longtime members and friends have stayed engaged and involved. KHers who have taken advantage of the communal opportunities we offer are happy and connected.
Our new sanctuary was created by many hands, many different people who helped make it a warm, welcoming, and deeply spiritual place of worship and gathering.
People are calling each other up. They’re coming to picnics after Saturday services, even if they didn’t come to the service. They’re making suggestions, and helping make their ideas become reality.
This isn’t luck and it wasn’t an accident. It happened because people cared and stepped forward, sometimes stepping out of their comfort zones.
Most remarkable, some members are zooming in to services and classes, even though they haven’t been in Sarasota for over two years. Even though some of them never plan to come back to Sarasota.
They have remained members, are still paying dues and making donations, are still active and engaged in our community. This speaks volumes about our small but mighty congregation.
There is so much that is wrong with the world around us. But I cannot despair. Not knowing that we have overcome the odds. If we can do it on a small scale, so can the greater community. I’m not saying it will be easy. But it is possible to achieve the impossible.
Shabbat shalom, Rabbi Jennifer
Mail: Kol HaNeshama
PO Box 21655
Sarasota, FL 34276
St. Wilfred’s Episcopal Church Campus, Kol HaNeshama Sanctuary
3773 Wilkinson Road, Sarasota, FL 34233
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