Chanukah is a delightful time to enjoy family and friends. It is also a time to reflect upon the Etz Chayim community and what it means to each of us. This year we've welcomed 16 new member families. We've attended Shivas for loved ones. We've welcomed and named babies and grandbabies, we've joined together to witness as several of our young people have been called to the Torah, and we've had a number of weddings in our community this year. We've supported our members through illnesses and injuries. We've celebrated the holidays and holy days. We have continued the tradition of our Women’s and Men's retreats and started a new Scholar-in-Residence program. Through all of these, new and longtime members have met and developed wonderful friendships.
Etz Chayim has never, and will never, turn anyone away for lack of ability to pay. However,it costs money to run a synagogue. Program fees and membership contributions simply are not enough to cover the Congregation’s operating costs. Fundraising is part of our annual budget, and this year the fundraising committee must raise $67,000 in order to maintain these programs and keep our dues low. A group of Etz families has teamed up to offer a Chanukah Appeal challenge grant. Every new donation to the Chanukah Appeal, or any increase in donation from last year, will be matched dollar for dollar. So, if you give $180 more than you gave last year, the congregation will receive $360. If we're up to the challenge, the Chanukah Appeal will be our biggest fundraising event of the year. Your contribution of $180, $360, $540 or whatever amount you can afford, is needed and is greatly appreciated. Appreciated stock may have some interesting tax advantages for some (contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details).
May the Chanukah lights bring warmth and strength to you and your loved ones in the coming days.
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