Temple Judea has always been committed to gathering together large groups of people, especially for the High Holidays, for inspiration and renewal.
For the past year and a half, Covid-19 has presented challenges and adjustments to our lives. As a result of Covid-19, this High Holiday season is requiring new and significant decisions and requirements, while still maintaining the high level of spirituality. .
Normally this is a time of reflection, of gathering together to pray, sing, atone, worship, take stock of our lives and face the New Year with new promises and goals. This special time of the year has always meant getting together to worship with family and friends, and to reexamine what is important and what needs to be preserved.
Rabbi Todd Chizner and Cantor Deborah Jacobson will be leading and inspiring the congregation in meaningful services, while working with the restrictions that are required.
They will be joined by Paul Vegoda who has recently been elected unanimously to serve as the new president of Temple Judea. Vegoda, along with Rabbi, Cantor and board members, have been working to bring a level of confidence and spirituality to the congregation as they grapple with the new constraints forced upon large groups of worshipers.
Requiring proof of vaccinations, the wearing of masks, sitting at a “social distance” from others, while all at the same time imbuing the High Holiday season with majesty and significance, is surely a challenge. Some congregants will be observing the Holiday services “virtually” in their own homes, which is a different level of technical requirements.
Vegoda is uniquely qualified to assist the clergy in his new capacity. He will be bringing to the task proven leadership qualities as well as a strong background in Jewish traditions.
Now retired, Vegoda has worked as Chief Information Officer for Stony Brook University Hospital as well as for North Shore University Hospital and the University of Michigan Hospitals. He began his earliest Jewish education at a Talmud Torah, an Orthodox school in Borough Park, Brooklyn.
His family then moved to Bensonhurst where they joined Sons of Israel, a Conservative synagogue, giving Paul a different Jewish background and perspective.
In addition to Paul’s active role in Temple Judea, he also volunteers at the Nassau County Museum of Art .You can see him at the front information desk on Thursdays. His goal today for Temple Judea is to create a very warm, close and inclusive Jewish community.
With the skills and commitment of the Clergy, the president and Congregants, the High Holidays will proceed in the way that they always have at Temple Judea, with respect, inspiration, and renewal.
Temple Judea (Reform) is located at 333 Searingtown Road, Manhasset; www.temple-judea.com; (516) 621-8049. New members are welcome.