In this issue:
- CSG – protecting us and our Jewish way of life
- Succah and development applications
- The Shabbat Project 2015
- A vital new (paid) community role needs to be filled
Well, that’s another Yom Kippur under the belt (why does Yom Kippur make us think about our belt?). And I don’t know about you but the fast seems to get easier every year, but the coffeeless headache so much harder. My wife helpfully suggested that next year I try to “wean” myself off coffee in between Rosh Hashana and YK, which is kind of like suggesting a junkie “wean” themselves off heroin. I told her them’s the aseret yamei teshuva, NOT the aseret yamei meshugah.
But even through the coffeeless fug, it was lovely to spend 25 hours in community and contemplation, and to meet so many wonderful supporters of JCA who give of themselves for our community. And then break the fast with friends and family.
We hope that your fast went well, and that we all will be sealed in the book of life and health and prosperity. But before we look forward, let’s look back for a moment. Last week I wrote:
It is a difficult thing being the one who has to work on a holiday – public or religious – when everyone else around you is doing something else … Now I’m not looking to trigger a debate on penalty rates (the new prime minister has enough on his plate) [we failed there, sorry PM] but there is a reason that a civilised society like Australia has developed a system of additional compensation for those who are required to work, and forced to forgo time with their families and friends on a holiday.
So these high holidays, spare a thought for those in our community who continue to work, professionally and voluntarily, to make sure all the machinery continues to run, and we remain vibrant and secure. Particularly those inside and outside of our synagogues.
Of course, those “outside of our synagogues” was an oblique reference to our remarkably dedicated and committed Community Security Group (CSG to the rest of us) and particularly their volunteers, because even if penalty rates applied, double time on nothing is still nothing.
In looking to bring you stories of people in our community (as you’ve requested), there will always be one group that we will never be able to do justice to in this newsletter, and that is the volunteers, young and old, of our CSG (or, for that matter, the supremely dedicated professional staff that leads and supports them).
Those of you who have donated to JCA this year will have received an email between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur thanking you and the volunteers of the CSG, for what we have done – together – to ensure our community is secure over this past year, and particularly over our High Holidays.
And it bears repeating here simply because this newsletter goes to a much wider group of people in our community – including everyone who benefits from the work of the CSG, lest we take for granted one of the most important elements of our community.
So here’s what you may have missed:
We all know that no one gives up hundreds of hours of their time each year for a few words of thanks, but it does make a difference to know that your time and effort is appreciated. And we most definitely do appreciate everything that CSG does to keep our community secure. Dedicated volunteers and talented staff, on their own are not enough for CSG to protect us.
Without your support through JCA, CSG would not have the funds it needs to operate in the way that it does, understand the risks, and work with authorities to safeguard our community.
So today, on behalf of our whole community, I would like to thank you for all you do to ensure that we are as sustainable, vibrant and secure as possible. Like our CSG volunteers who donate their precious time and talent, you have made the choice to donate your hard earned money to JCA’s 2015 campaign to help your family and our communal family, and we thank you.
If you haven’t made a contribution to JCA’s 2015 campaign and can help out, you know what to do. Next Rosh Hashana, we’d love to be able to thank you too.
Once again we wish everyone Gmar Chatimah Tova, and that we may all be sealed for a sweet and happy new year. And by the way, if you know someone who would like to start 5776 in a new job, check out the job ad for a hugely important community role at the bottom of the newsletter. Jewish Uncle Sam says, “Oy, do we need you!”
P.S. For those of you looking to commence construction of your sukkah, you will be pleased to know that JCA’s Building & Capital Committee has determined that sukkahs – being necessarily temporary structures – are a form of Exempt and Complying Development, and as such no DA is necessary.
P.P.S. Have you been following The Shabbat Project 2015? Here’s what you need to know (and when reading the important info below imagine that film trailer voice over guy):
In 2014, 15,000 Sydneysiders came together to celebrate one Shabbat across the Jewish world.
This year, it’s happening again. And, it’s better than ever.
In 2015 it is about going back to our grassroots and empowering communal organisations, shules and members of the community to take on The Shabbat Project. This way, more people can be reached and it will ensure that everyone can participate in a meaningful way. Be it be a local Challah Bake, Havdallah Concert, lunch at the synagogue or an activity for the children, it is up to us, the Sydney community, to create the spirit and meaning of Shabbat in a way that has never been done before.
It is about being One People. One Heart. One Shabbat.
To stay in touch:
Instagram @shabbatprojectsydney #sydneytogetheragain#keepingittogether