We are delighted to announce that beginning in September Fleetwood Synagogue will be introducing, for the first time in many years, a formal youth program. The increasing number of children coming to shul regularly on Shabbos has made this a very welcome and exciting new priority for our community, and we look forward to setting the foundations of a robust and meaningful program that will surely grow and flower in the years to come.
We are so gratified that our very own Noa Salzberg, who in her two years in Fleetwood already has a track record of planning and executing fun and meaningful activities for our youngsters, has agreed to take the position of Youth Leader for the coming year. She will coordinate and lead two groups each Shabbat morning, one for pre-school-age children and one for younger elementary-school-age children. For the latter, we are very pleased to have also hired Andrea Weiner, who of course has such a warm and close relationship with so many of our kids, to assist Noa with the management of the group. We are grateful to Noa and Andrea for agreeing to take on these very important roles in our shul.
The Shabbat morning groups will begin Sept. 1, and will run weekly through June 22, 2013, with the exception of Chol Ha-Mo`ed Sukkot, Chol Ha-Mo`ed Pesach, and Thanksgiving weekend. The older group, for grades 1-5, will meet at 10:15am, and the pre-school group will meet at 11:00am.
The various Sunday pre-holiday children’s programs that we have always held several times during the course of the year will continue as before, and we thank the Sisterhood for their continued willingness to coordinate those events.
We thank Dr. Eugene Dinkevich and Mrs. Etti Hen, esteemed members of the shul and parents themselves, for agreeing to serve, together with the Rabbi and in consultation with the lay leadership, as the shul’s Youth Committee. Although all parents were consulted regarding the vision and goals of our youth programming, this committee has been more closely involved in adopting the plans that we have put in place, and will be charged with overseeing and evaluating the success and progress of the program during the course of the year. We ask anyone who has any ideas or comments about the program to please communicate them to a member of the Youth Committee, which will serve as a liaison between the membership and the youth leaders.
During the coming months the Youth Committee will also be working on devising programming for some of our older children who have grown beyond Shabbat morning groups, and we welcome any suggestions or input that anyone may have regarding this.
In addition, Brenda Davis will be returning in September to provide childcare services each Shabbat from 9:30-11:30am.
We all owe a very special thank-you to Drs. Rob, Rachel, Richard, and Eve Sidlow, who have jump-started this project with a significant financial contribution that will help subvent youth programming over the next several years. Even with that initial foundation, much gratitude is due to the Finance Committee and to the Board of Trustees, who worked very hard to devise a budget which allowed for adding this new ongoing operating expense, and we thank them on behalf of the entire community for their wisdom, creativity, and devotion to our spiritual needs.
We imagine that Fleetwood parents along with the rest of the shul membership are as excited as we are about these developments, which signify the burgeoning vitality and energy of our community. We trust that you are as determined as we are to build a successful youth program, and look forward to partnering with you in adding a whole new dimension to our collective shul experience.
ברוך שהחיינו וקיימנו והגיענו לזמן הזה
Barukh sh-hecheyyanu ve-kiyyemanu ve-higi`anu la-zeman ha`zeh.
–Rabbi Gedalyah BergerB”H
It is our pleasure to be appointed Fleetwood Synagogue’s new Youth Coordinators. Thank G-d, Fleetwood has seen a boom in the number of children coming through its
doors (thirty children age birth to high school!), making this a very exciting time in our shul’s history. Because of this, formal Shabbat programming is being reinstituted for the
children to build upon the Jewish identity that is fostered in their homes and schools.
We will be dividing the children into two separate age groups, allowing for the experience to be tailored to each group’s needs. The first group will be for the children
in elementary school, while the other will be for those children in pre-school and kindergarten.
With the older children, we will first conduct a formal tefillah, followed by an activity,
game or discussion with a focus on the week’s parsha or upcoming yom tov. We will begin at 10:15 am so this group will have enough time to be involved with the end of
Mussaf upstairs with the rest of the congregation. The younger children will meet at 11:00 am for their own special davening, activities,
stories and songs, about the yamim tovim/parshiot. Imas and Abbas are welcome to join us!
The groups will be starting, ..”., on September 1, ……… ….
We are looking forward to a fun and exciting year of Shabbatot with your children.
Noa and Andrea