As you know, Temple Beth Chai has served our community for over 19 years. In that time, we have always operated within a framework of warmth, extreme care for your individual family needs, as well as the greater needs of our community. We pride ourselves on finding unique and meaningful ways to provide outreach to our community and we are grateful to have had your support along this journey.  

Over the years, our High Holy Day services have been incredibly meaningful and purposeful. Cantor Andy and I have seen you return year after year, and it has brought us enormous joy and satisfaction to have shared those experiences together. Covid certainly has brought about some incredible change over the last 2.5 years. We are proud of the ways we were able to innovate and continue to serve our community through those challenges to be there for our TBC family. 

As we reflect over the last couple years, in order to look towards the future, we see that the local Jewish community and the greater Jewish community at large has also found innovative ways to worship. Across the world and in our local communities, Jewish organizations are providing greater reach in the online space. Today there are many easily accessible, often free, wonderful options available to those who wish to log on for services. Unfortunately, we know that this is not what TBC’s greatest strength is. 

Not having our own building to hold services has been both a blessing and a hinderance. It has become increasingly challenging organizing large events, such as the High Holy Day service. Between obtaining a facility to hold services, logistics and additional security precautions, it has been almost impossible to make it happen.

After months of serious reflection, I am writing to let you know that Temple Beth Chai will no longer be conducting High Holiday Services. As previously noted, there are many amazing options, both online and in our community, that are available to all who wish to worship for the High Holidays.

We may find ways to offer “pop up” Shabbats at various locations, but when we choose to conduct these services, it will be on a less structured basis and out of a desire to connect and experience fun ways in being Jewish, together again. 

I know that many of you have been with us for years – some since the very beginning in 2003! I cannot begin to express my family and my sincere gratitude for your years of support, friendship, and worship together. This is not a goodbye. I will still be here for you when you need me most. I will officiate at your loved ones’ weddings, lead your children and grandchildren through B’nai Mitzvah and officiate at their services, name your babies and be with you when a loved one passes. I am still, and will always, be here for you. 

As always, I am happy to support you in your spiritual journey. If you have questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me. 

From the bottom of my heart, thank you and God Bless you. 

Your Rabbi and Spiritual Leader,

Jonathan Kaplan