We hope that this email finds you and your loved ones well and safe. Although we have not physically been together at PCS in many months, we have had the benefit of many gatherings via Zoom: Friday night Kabbalat Shabbat services (which will begin again in mid-August); Saturday morning Torah study; Shavuot services (with ice cream!); adult education programs; four B’nei Mitzvahs; committee meetings; funerals and shivas (sadly); Board of Trustees’ meetings; Hebrew School classes; and our successful Fun-draiser, which netted over $26,000!
Today there are a few topics we would like to address.
Zoom also facilitated our annual congregational meeting on June 17. At that time, the congregation elected new officers, including yours truly (PCS’ first Co-Presidents), and a few new trustees. You can see who’s who at
Unfortunately, because of a continuing downward trend in membership, which is not unique to PCS, the Board announced its difficult, but necessary, decision that PCS will need to defund the full-time rabbi position after June 2021.
Before the congregational meeting, we advised Rabbi Julie of the decision and negotiated a contract for this final year, which the congregation approved. Under the contract, Rabbi Julie has until July of 2021 to find a new position that is a good fit for her, both spiritually and financially. If you have a question about any of the details of the contract, please do not hesitate to contact either of us (emails below).
PCS is forming a
Rabbi Search Committee
to begin the process of finding and hiring a part-time rabbi, at a much reduced salary, to begin serving our congregation next summer; the committee’s first Zoom meeting is scheduled for August 13 at 7:30 pm. We already have a number of volunteers. If you are interested in serving on this committee, please contact Marcy Gray ASAP at
The High Holidays.
As we look forward to the holiest time of year for the Jewish community, we are mindful of the strong desire to be with family and friends. Our PCS community will celebrate the High Holidays together, but as will be the case for most Westchester congregations, the gathering will be remote. Rabbi Julie and Cantor Abbe are planning meaningful, engaging (and shorter) services that will lend themselves to online participation. The choir is rehearsing (via Zoom, of course). More information about access, participation, etc. will follow shortly by separate email.
Under Phase 4, Westchester houses of worship are permitted to conduct indoor services at no more than 33% of the maximum occupancy for the particular space. But should PCS re-open now? If not now, when? And when we do re-open, what guidelines will PCS and those entering our building need to follow?
We have the benefit of much guidance from New York State and the Westchester Jewish Council, but in order to determine what is best for
community, PCS has established a
to make recommendations to the Board of Trustees. Ideally, the committee will include one or more physicians or other healthcare professionals, Hebrew School parents, older members, and others, as well as our Hebrew School principal Galit Sperling Messman and Rabbi Julie. If you can offer your expertise or thoughtful opinion in this endeavor, please contact PCS member and trustee Rachel Friedman at
The current health and economic crisis did not spare our congregation. Members became ill with COVID-19, and at least one died of the disease. Many congregants have lost family members and friends. Congregants have lost jobs or seen a downturn in their business. But, together, PCS and its community endures.
Roberta L. Korus Robert Marshak