Asher Tannenbaum, Ritual Director

A few weeks ago, I read the following paragraph in a business article and it got me thinking. “And they still use some of the same techniques from the past …

And that is a beautiful thing because not everything needs to be modernized.

I think it’s nice there are still things from the past that you can apply to what we do in the present.”

These words struck a chord in me because even though the context was referring to a certain manufacturing practice, I immediately found deeper meaning in them and how they apply to our Judaism. As Jews, we are challenged every day by ourselves, family, friends, neighbors even strangers as to why we do certain rituals like keeping kosher or coming to shul once a week to put on tefillin and pray or to have a Passover Seder for 20 people. Why do we perform these rituals from long ago? One answer could be, we live in a modern fast-paced world and there is no place for these archaic rituals from the past. Another more popular answer might be, that we live in a time facing many challenges and conflicts and that our past – our history, our religion, our culture is always there for us to help face these challenges. Having strong roots and living a moral and ethical life is no guarantee but it sure tips the scales in our favour when dealing with many life situations. Spring is such an exciting time of year.

We have endured another long winter and are happy that the Snowbirds are back. On Shabbat mornings, the synagogue pews are filling up as we celebrate a Bar/Bat Mitzvah weekly all the way to the end of June. Our daily Minyans are stronger as many of you have answered the call to come to one Minyan a week. Days are getting longer, there is more sunshine, there is a buzz in the air especially inside our beloved synagogue. There have been changes – David Moscovitch our Executive Director Emeritus of 28 years has retired. Our teacher, leader and spiritual guide, Rabbi Moses of over 20 years is planning to retire in July 2018. When changes occur, many feelings are expressed such as sadness, disappointment. It is very difficult to accept change when people who have devoted many years to the synagogue we all love are not working here. These are the beautiful things from the past that we remember and cherish and do not want to give up. But as we close the chapter on this era, we have to look forward with hope, optimism and excitement as Shaare Zion continues on its journey.

Positive changes have already taken place and more are on the way. Loren Krolik, our new Executive Director, is young, intelligent and resourceful and in her few months at Shaare Zion has implemented

many new ideas to make the operations more efficient and orderly. The two Cantors are young and energetic and full of ideas. Lishai our Programme Coordinator is a terrific asset to the Shaare Zion team.

Then there are Debbie, Brenda and Rosanne who anchor the office operations and provide the much needed support to the professionals.  We have a gifted Choir Director, Shimon, who continues to provide the traditional Shaare Zion melodies that we all remember and get goose bumps when we hear them but also new musical arrangements to connect the past to the present.

Finally, there is Manny, our Building Supervisor who is responsible for every single thing that involves the building. The list is too great to even begin with.

The point is we are a team and every one of us is an asset to the team. When one of us is not here, we all pick up the slack because that is what team players do. And when some of the players retire, new players are added and hope that they are accepted and become part of the team quickly.

There is so much excitement in the halls of Shaare Zion. We want you, our members to share in this excitement. Come to a Daily Minyan once a week, come to a Shabbat service to hear our beautiful choir, our two Cantors and our spiritual leader followed by a delicious Kiddush all for free. Now that is better than the Early Bird special in Florida! There are programmes for all ages young to old, classes, lectures, the Friday night dinners and Kiddush cooks and bakers and even a baseball team to follow. Yes, the Lions are returning and going for a 6th consecutive championship – Can the Expos be far behind??? There is so much going on but we need you to join us on the train and travel with us wherever we go.

I wish you all a wonderful Spring and Summer and hope to see you at Shaare Zion. My door is always open – pop in for a visit and share with me your ideas, complaints and suggestions. Communication

and dialogue are the key.