Dear Friends,

We are excited to announce that the Boards of Directors of Shomrei Torah Synagogue and Temple Aliyah have approved the launch of a process to explore expanding and formalizing our collaboration. We are excited to think together about how we can leverage our unique strengths and gifts to renew Jewish life in the West Valley. It is in this spirit of possibility that we are calling this initiative Chadash, meaning “new.”

As you may know, this week marks the beginning of Elul, the month preceding Rosh Hashanah. Traditionally Elul is held as a period of introspection and searching, and we believe it represents an optimal time for us to begin this journey together.

This idea of what is possible together was on the minds of both synagogues long before COVID, though these last few months have reinforced the need for communities to be adaptive and innovative in the face of change so that we can preserve what is most valuable to us: our beliefs, values, and communal purpose.

On behalf of the Chadash Leadership Team, consisting of both synagogues’ rabbis, presidents and executive directors, I am committed to ensuring a smooth and effective exploration process. We are officially launching the process at a joint session of the Boards of Director later this week. From there, board members and other lay leaders will be working in committees over the next three to four months to delve into various aspects of communal life – from education and programming to ritual and outreach opportunities. Emerging from the committee work will be a set of recommendations for consideration by the Boards of Directors in late 2020/early 2021.

Throughout the process, we will take care to honor and lift up the culture, tradition, and rituals of each community.

While we come to this process from a place of shared excitement and optimism, it is important to note that we are not operating with any specific predetermined outcome as our goal. We will see where these discussions take us, and we are committed to communicating with both congregations throughout the process to keep you apprised of the committees’ developments.

We also recognize that a process of this scope naturally comes with many questions and a range of feelings. So, in addition to the subcommittees’ work, there will be opportunities for each community to come together independently to ask questions and give their input on the Chadash process. In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to reach out with your questions as well.

We look forward to beginning this journey together.

Julie Davine