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2019 End-of-Year Remarks from Pres. Mary Ellen Gurewitz

December 23, 2019
Dear T’chiyah community,

As we approach the end of 2019, we can look back with pride on what a wonderful year it has been for our congregation. We have welcomed 30 new members, a diverse group attracted by our inclusivity, creativity, spirituality, and commitment to social justice.  

In addition to our beautiful Shabbat services and compelling discussions we:

  • piloted & expanded our kid-centric (ALL WELCOME!) Babies, Bubbies & Babka Shabbat into a monthly offering, thanks to the generous support of the D. Dan & Betty Kahn Foundation;
  • brought our vibrant High Holidays to over 200 members and guests from across Metro Detroit;
  • assembled a Queer Task Force of LBGTQ+ congregants who’ve led Board-level initiatives to bolster LGBTQ+ affirmation, with support from Keshet
  • launched a successful first cohort of the Aleph Bet Intensive, empowering a minyan of congregants to read Hebrew.

We were thrilled when the Reconstructionist gedolim (“greats”) cited T’chiyah as a success story of the kind of covenantal “community of meaning” that is so needed in this moment. Rabbi Schwarz called us “a compelling example about how, if you speak to people’s passion, people will show up.” 

Our once-little havurah has grown by offering a practice of Judaism and community that is sturdy enough to support us through the daily crises of our era, yet malleable enough for each of us to shape it with our own unique visions and aspirations.

Through this time of chanukah, “(re)dedication,” we hope that you’ll take a moment and consider how you can do your part to transform T’chiyah into the Jewish community of our collective dreams. 

As you know, we decided to move from a mandated dues structure to a voluntary system which we call “Terumah: Gifts from the Heart.” Your pledges have gotten us close to meeting our budgeted needs this year and our new fundraising team will be thinking about creative and values-aligned ways to raise the additional funds we need. So you can look forward to hearing from them, and in the meantime I encourage you to include T’chiyah in your end-of-year giving.

A gift from the heart of any amount is a great way to express (re)dedication. But we also want you to get your hands in the mix: maybe by joining our new member connectivity teamenrolling in the next round of our Aleph Bet Intensive, joining the musical “Levites” (email Jake!), or signing up to be part of the Fundraising Committee (email Marty!). And of course, if you think of other ways help us deepen and strengthen this inspiring community, please reach out to Jake. 

In the wake of all this darkness and uncertainty in the world, T’chiyah’s scrappy success is a continuing beacon of hope for me. Thanks to your activity, creativity and contributions, I know that this success will only continue. I look forward to what further evolutions T’chiyah will experience moving forward, and I’m truly grateful to serve this unique community as president.

Happy Chanukah and Happy New Year,

Mary Ellen Gurewitz

President, Congregation T’chiyah

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  • Jake Ehrlich
    published this page in Who We Are 2019-12-26 14:57:11 -0500