Mancom would like to address a few (mainly housekeeping) issues relating to our Friday evening Oneg Shabbat, which for many is the high point of the week at Beit Emanuel. Some of these remarks are based on feedback from members, others on observations we’ve made and discussions overheard.
While children are, of course, absolutely welcome to attend the Kiddushim, we do request that parents ensure that children do not run in the hall, or play on the stage. These requests are made in the interests of the children’s own safety, and the enjoyment and safety of other members and guests.
We are always looking for volunteers to assist with serving at the buffet tables. (For those who question the need for the practice, it is done for the sake of portion control, simply to ensure that everyone gets a helping.) Please lend a hand! Remember that this is a community event, not a cafeteria or restaurant!
In order to keep our overtime expenses down, we employ only a single casual staff member to clear away after the meal. We therefore request that no crockery or cutlery be left on the tables. Please place all dirty crockery and cutlery in the green containers provided before leaving.
There is a suggested minimum donation of R20 per head, which is in place to ensure that we can continue with the much-loved Friday evening Brocha into the future. (Some members may be aware that we have at times considered doing away with the custom, which is a significant expense, and which benefits only those who are present on Friday evenings.)
There has been some resentment expressed at those (particularly non-member visitors) who frequently attend the Brocha, but are not seen to contribute. While we understand the resentment, we would remind members that hachnasat orchim (the welcoming of guests) is a core Jewish value, and that some consider offering Shabbat hospitality “more important than prayer”. Those who are in a position to contribute are clearly expected to do so, but we simply don’t know the circumstances of all those attending.
Those who don’t wish to handle money on Shabbat have the option of including an equivalent amount in their monthly debit orders.