|On Erev Pesach I appealed from the bimah for sponsorships in support of the immediate and longer-term needs of Beit Emanuel. The Pesach seder vividly enacts the continuity of Jewish tradition, making a crucial moment in our history palpable through visual symbols, tastes and textures. We tell the story of the Exodus from Egypt, reliving it as though it had happened directly to each one of us. We participate in old rituals, often made new, and we enjoy reunions with family members and friends.
Our congregation too needs an assurance of its sustainability, its capacity to carry the achievements of the past into future endeavours and the reinvigoration of progressive Jewish practice. And our survival cannot but have a practical component. In the familiar words of the Talmud, ‘Im ayn kemach, ayn Torah’. Without sufficient means for material subsistence, there can be no secure future for our religious services, our study sessions and our essential outreach work. The physical structure of Beit Emanuel was built by donations from the community. Many of our Torah scrolls and most of the silverware in the ark came to us as gifts. The breastplates and rimmonim for the scrolls carry inscriptions that trace family celebrations and some painful losses. The embroidery on the Torah covers records the dedication of women from the Sisterhood to the goals of our congregation.
Now it is our turn to carry the tradition forward and to lay the groundwork for coming generations. Please give as generously as you can in terms of your available resources. Our treasurer, Ian West, has emphasized that nobody will ever be turned away from Beit Emanuel for financial reasons. Nonetheless, the congregation cannot continue without the contributions of its members. We occupy an important space in the tapestry of contemporary Jewish life; we need to hold ourselves accountable for maintaining that position and for making our creative presence felt.
This appeal will run until Shavuot, thus marking the transition of our people from freedom to full ethical responsibility in response to the teachings of Torah. All sponsorships or partial sponsorships will be appropriately acknowledged. Thank you for your commitment.
Sponsorships and Partial Sponsorships
New booklets for prayers at a house of mourning – R150 each
New Tanachim – R600 per book
[Book-plates bearing the names of donors will be inserted.]
Plaque on the Eitz Chayim/ ‘Tree of Life’ – R750
Sponsored membership fees (for a family with children) – R7,570 annually or R631 monthly
Sponsored Basic Judaism (i.e. conversion) course – R9,950 annually
Brochas and other special events or activities
Donations of children’s furniture or toys, as well as garden goods or plants, will also be welcome.
(Professor) Merle Williams, Chair of the Management Committee