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06/07/2021 01:30:00 PM

Jun7

Stacey Hudson

I launch the blog on Monday so if you are reading this on Monday, June 7th, the office move is in process. On Tuesday we will be open at Maryland Avenue, phones and computers working and many moving crates to unpack. It is both a sad milestone to be leaving 829 S. Hanley and a very exciting next step as we continue to complete construction projects in the new building.  
 As you can see from the photo, Rabbis Arnow and Shafrin, Nancy, Meir and Micki have been doing their jobs in tight quarters. The need to social distance this past year has only added to the challenge. I have been working out of Maryland Ave since September and am so happy to have everyone together. We will hold our first in-person staff meeting on Wednesday. Give us time to get settled and unpacked, then give us a call that you would like to come visit.
 
Construction continues in the building. The construction fence will remain through the end of August, we have limited restrooms for the next two months, and work is being done on all three floors. With all of that in mind the ReOpen Task Force met last week to discuss our next steps as more people are vaccinated and the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. We will be posting the new protocols on the website soon, and I will include them in my next blog. I greatly appreciate the thoughtful discussion the task force had weighing the science available, the feedback we get from members on what they are ready and comfortable to do and the added limitations we have with the construction. The revised protocols are designed to get us through the summer and the completion of this phase of construction.
Finally, we sent all our members a letter a couple weeks ago about the member directory available through the website. If the information we have on file is not correct, please use the directions included in the letter to log in make corrections. If you have trouble with that you may note the corrections on the letter and mail it back for us to update.
The letter includes a second and equally important request. On the back we have listed several topics and want to know which of these interest you. We want to connect you with others who have the same interests, start small groups around things you want to learn or do and invite speakers to discuss topics you want to learn about. The best way for us to do that is for you tell us what interests and excites you. Please go to the back side of the letter, circle your topics, add others we missed and mail it back. You may also e-mail me, stacey@kolrinahst.org, with your preferences. Then watch for new programs developed around your interests.
 
 
 

05/24/2021 09:30:00 AM

May24

Stacey Hudson

Construction for the Monica Lynne Neidorff Early Childcare Center is progressing quickly. The drywall on the aluminum studs shows the room sizes and shapes, and the electrical and plumbing are clearly visible. That’s why it was so much fun to take Liz Collins, our ECC director, on a tour this past week. Rhiannon Kaye, who is volunteering her time to manage the project for us, led the tour showing Liz her office and classrooms and where the equipment and appliances will be located. I could picture the finishes and colors to come and the kids playing on the floor. There is excitement and stress as we anticipate moving the ECC. We will all be to help Liz with this big change.
 
Speaking of moving: the long-awaited office move is June 7th. Furniture is being installed, packing materials are being delivered and training on our new phone system is schedule.  On June 8th we officially open the office at Maryland Avenue. Give us a few days to get boxes unpacked and to settle in, then give us a call to arrange a time to come visit. We look forward to showing you around.
Verein’s Jews in Science series continued with a presentation this week by Howard Granok on Rosalind Franklin, a largely unrecognized scientist who was instrumental in understanding the structure of DNA. Each month a member of the congregation presents information on someone who made a significant contribution to science. We have reached a wide audience with the series with both members and non-members attending each presentation.
Our website is updated weekly with the programs and activities our volunteers plan and host as well as the times for services and information about building use. Please check it out to see the most up to date information.  

05/18/2021 06:55:02 PM

May18

Stacey Hudson

Gathering. A word we used to take for granted and now get so excited to hear and think about. Last week I attended two very different but very joyful gatherings.
On Friday evening we held our first Kol Bachootz - outdoor Kabballat Shabbat - services in the courtyard with the Clayton skyline in the background. The young families service with kids and parents spread out on blankets, balls sailing through the air, adults and children dancing with Karen and lots of music was fabulous.
A short time later the adults gathered for an equally joyous, musical service, minus the blankets and balls. Throughout both services I kept thinking, this is why we choose this building, in this spot. We have a wonderful courtyard that will be the gathering place for so many events – services, Sukkot, classes, games and events we have not dreamed of yet. I can’t wait.
 
Softball anyone? The only thing missing from the games on Sunday were the fans cheering for our teams. The Kol Rinah Maccabees played United Hebrew (10-30) and the Kol Rinah/Traditional Ball Mitzvahs played Shaare Emeth (7-24). Neither team brought home a win, but no one got hurt, so that’s good, right? Check the schedule on our website and head on out to the ballpark.
A quick update on our building use. Thank you to everyone who responded to the survey asking about attending in-person events. The ReOpen Task Force will meet soon to evaluate and discuss the results. We also must take into consideration the building construction and the shut-down of most of the restrooms for the next 4 to 6 weeks. Please check the website in the next few weeks for updates on protocols and building use.
 

05/10/2021 11:00:00 AM

May10

by Stacey Hudson

Driving by the building this past week I saw a woman out walking with her young daughter looking at our sculptures. Another evening I drove by and saw two women helping an elderly woman with a walker strolling along the garden path.
It is wonderful to see people in the neighborhood connecting with our synagogue. As the trees are blooming and the grass is turning a bright green, our grounds are coming to life. The courtyard will be a beautiful setting for our outdoor Shabbat service on Friday, May 14th. Please register to attend.
One of things I love about this job is having the support and resources of Jewish organizations in our local community and throughout the country. There is a large network of professional organizations that connect people in leadership so we can help each other.
A highlight of last week was a meeting with the leaders of our Sisterhood, Susan Brown, Joyce Gang and Linda Carton and the leaders of the Women’s League of Conservative Judaism, Rabbi Ellen Wolintz-Fields, Debbie Kaner Goldich and Renee Ravich. The WLCJ is the national organization for Sisterhoods. Rabbi Wolintz-Fields offered the services of her organization to any Sisterhood wanting to revitalize their chapters on an e-mail exchange we both use. I wrote immediately and jumped at the opportunity. Our Sisterhood is an important part of the shul sponsoring programs, providing kiddushes and raising money that they donate to support many of our programs. They are working with the WLCJ on ways to energize our chapter, so they continue to attract new members and be a vital part of the shul.
Another benefit in our community is the security consulting provided by Scott Biondo, Community Security Director for the Jewish Federation. This past week Scott led the first training we will hold on security in our new building. Over the summer we will hold additional training for members of the board, committee chairs and anyone who wants to learn best practices for the security of our members, guests, and staff. Please let me know if you would like to join the training sessions (stacey@kolrinahstl.org).
Our softball teams were off this week for Mother’s Day. Check back here for scores and highlights throughout the season.
Until next week - Stacey

05/03/2021 11:00:00 AM

May3

Stacey Hudson

Welcome to my news blog. The Communications committee realized that we are very diligent about posting and sending out information on our programs but have not followed up to let you know how the programs went. The success of our programs is due to countless hours of planning by the committees, auxiliaries, and staff. We cannot thank them enough. We measure success by the number of people that attend but also, and perhaps more importantly, by what the people that did attend learned and experienced. This blog gives me an opportunity to let our members and friends know about the results of our programs and many other things happening in the shul. And what a great week to get this started!
We had a wonderful turnout at the Lag B’Omer bonfire in Shaw Park with nearly 100 people attending. A huge thank you to Bob Olshan and Melissa Bellows for planning the celebration with the ice cream, fire truck and of course the bonfire. With some teaching from Rabbi Arnow and Evyatar Shachar (our Shinshin) and wonderful music from Karen Kern, we celebrated the holiday and our first large in-person event since the start of COVID-19. The outdoor venue allowed us to have the fabulous turnout while keeping each other safe.
Do you miss attending professional sporting events? Come cheer our two teams competing in The St. Louis Inter-Congregational Softball League this year: The Kol Rinah Maccabees and our combined team with Traditional Congregation, The Ball Mitzvahs. Sunday was opening day and our two teams played each other with the Ball Mitzvahs wrapping it up with a whooping 23 runs over the Maccabees 9.
The next games are on May 16th against United Hebrew and Shaare Emeth. Please watch the website homepage for the schedule details. Fans are welcome - bring masks, lawn chairs, sunscreen, water, and hats.
And in the building, the long-awaited installation of the coffee bar and other millwork is underway.
Until next week - Stacey

 

 

 

Mon, June 14 2021 4 Tammuz 5781