Dear Members and Friends of Young Israel:
We hope this letter finds you well.
As many of you know, it is the time of year we kindly request monetary participation from each of you for the annual Yom Kippur Appeal. We thought it would be helpful if we take a moment and provide you with an update on the shul as you consider participation in our annual Yom Kippur Appeal.
During the Aseres Yemei Teshuvah we take time as individuals to reflect on the past and project towards the future on how we can better ourselves. At the Young Israel of Greater Cleveland, we take a similar approach. We take inventory of what we have done well, and we look forward to opportunities for improvement as a Kehilla and organization.
Please allow us to highlight a few important developments in our shul.
We have seen growth through membership, attendance, and most recently an increase from prior years in our seat sales for Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. There is a powerful feeling of community and energy in the building. We hear from young families joining the shul who feel a strong connection to our organization and the people around them.
We are a destination for many minyan goers. We attract a diverse group on a daily basis. We have vibrant, well attended, daily morning and afternoon minyan options to accommodate working professionals, parents who may need to rush off to carpool, remote working professionals who perhaps need not rush to the office, and retirees.
In July, seeing a need in the community, we launched a new Shabbos minyan which has helped attract more young families to the shul. We are seeing early successes in that minyan, which we hope will continue into the new year.
Daily learning opportunities continue to grow and attract more and more people in our building. We have daily shiurim on Daf Yomi, Dirshu Mishna Brura, Jewish History, Chumash Class, and others.
The Young Israel Kollel continues to enhance and strengthen our shul through Chavrusah Learning, Shabbos and Yom Tov learning opportunities, and legal holiday programming. The Kollel positively influences our adults and children, offering opportunities to connect to Torah daily.
That programming continues to evolve, even beyond the Kollel. We hosted a number of women’s lecture series through the course of the year and look forward to continuing those popular events this coming year. Shabbos groups are well attended, led by phenomenal, capable and dedicated parents and youth in the shul. Most recently, on Rosh Hashana, the careful planning and creation of a special, new, and exciting format for the youth groups was a sight to see.
We also offer members opportunities to publish their Torah ideas and thoughts monthly, and through our popular annual Clilei Torah Journal, which just recently published its 7th volume.
Through the efforts of many, we eliminated much of our mortgage debt which has allowed us to be in a better financial position today. We now turn our focus to keeping the organization in a financially strong position for the long term. Our building is 20 years old and requires ongoing investment. Major improvements to our building are necessary to continue keeping us competitive as a shul for our members and the community.
Keeping our members safe in our building must always be a focus. We are excited to report that earlier this year, under the leadership of Paul Gewirtz, our security director, we were awarded a substantial grant to make security improvements to the shul.
Our building continues to be a pillar for the community. Many community members use our building for Bar Mitzvahs, Weddings, and other Simchas. Many local organizations are attracted to our building as we offer spacious accommodations in a central location of the community. The Jewish day schools use our building for Shabbatons; we have hosted multiple vaccination clinics for the children in our community; Bikur Cholim allows us to share in their important work by providing volunteers a place to pack meals for those in need for Shabbos and Yom Tov; and in November, we will host the first major fund raising event for the brand new Cleveland Community Mikvah.
We are proud of the Young Israel’s accomplishments over the last twelve months. And we look forward to another positive year of growth at the Young Israel of Greater Cleveland.
We hope you will join us and help provide us with the finances needed to continue to be a leading institution in our community. Thank you in advance for your participation in the annual Yom Kippur Appeal.
To make a pledge please contact us at the Young Israel office 216-382-5740 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
G’mar Chasima Tova.
Rabbi Naphtali Burnstein, Rabbi
Yank Gecovich, President