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Paying it Forward- The Importance of Daily Minyan

More than five years ago my wife passed away. I was not yet a member, and my son and I tried a few Shul’s that would fulfill our Kaddish needs. I should mention that I was a member at Beth Tikvah, but moved to CSL when my wife was ill.

We found Shaare Zion. The Minyan, Rabbi Moses, Adam and Asher were incredibly welcoming.

A year later my father passed away so my Kaddish continued for about two years. Here is what I learned.

Most of the daily Minyan is made up of the same people. And almost without exception, we got the ten people needed. There are many days where services are delayed waiting for the Ten. We need you!
I was so appreciative to those who continued to come, I committed to attend two morning a week to kind of “pay it forward” following my Kaddish for my dad.
Currently, on the mornings I attend, there are two current Presidents, often past Presidents,two or three others who attend and support the Minyan morning and night. We struggle to get to Ten even when I add Asher and Adam.
Saying Kaddish for a lost one is dear to many, and when we are short they are stripped of the commitment they have made.
With Covid, the shul started Zoom sessions and there are some who attend remotely,  but they do not and cannot count towards the Minyan. When we are ten in the sanctuary they can then say their Kaddish, but if not, they too lose out on the opportunity.
Now the good stuff: I have made what I consider to be friends and I know I can count on them for almost anything. It’s amazing to experience. Of course, our clergy, Asher and Adam are incredible supporters in their own right. I don’t attend evening services but, I’m told that Rabbi Moses is there also. We have an amazing shul, and I’m proud to be a member.
So why did I prepare this letter? Great question.
If you can find it in your hearts to commit to just one morning a week ( weekday) or one evening a week, I promise you will not be sorry. Services take about 30 to 40 minutes, and there’s a breakfast too. We talk about all kinds of stuff, hence the special people I’ve been with.
I implore you to think about supporting our Shul, and to those who say Kaddish. Our Shul is not just there for the High Holidays.
Thank you
Mark Rabinovitch

If you were inspired by Mark's story, please consider joining us at services to help ensure we have a Minyan every day this week. 
Please pre-register HERE.

Life and Legacy- Wendy's Story

Shaare Zion Congregation has been a part of me and I have been a part of it for over sixty years. It is a place I warmly call “Home”.

 As I walk up the building’s steps and enter the sanctuary, I am flooded with memories that warm my soul.

I am taken back to 1960 before Shaare Zion adopted mixed seating. I am a toddler in diapers, dressed in my prettiest party dress, seated between my mother and grandmother in the 2nd row of the Women’s section. My father winks at me from his aisle seat in Row B in the Men’s section. He is seated with my grandfather, a founding member of the shul, and my brother. Rabbi Cohen and Cantor Gisser are larger than life and I sit timidly in awe of the service.

A few years later,  I am a student at Shaare Zion Academy and we are brought to the sanctuary to celebrate Sukkhot,  Simchat Torah,  and  for various school assemblies. Accompanied by my teachers and classmates, I feel more at ease in the sanctuary. It is less ominous and more welcoming.

Several years pass and Shaare Zion has instituted mixed seating. We are now seated as a family unit, 3 generations, in Row B center aisle. The services, prayers and choir have become very familiar, as are the faces of fellow congregants who we greet year after year. It feels so right that when I marry my husband, Stephen and start a family of our own , we continue the tradition.

We raise 3 sons, and celebrate their Bar Mitzvahs under the guidance of our new Rabbi, Rabbi Moses. His service is so warm that this new Rabbi makes us feel as if he’s known us  forever.

The years pass so swiftly and the little girl in diapers is now a grandmother. The Davis/Rapps clan represent 4 generations and we crowd into our row with my parents, sons, daughters-in-laws and 4 grandchildren!

The wonderful history I have shared with the shul, the deep connection and the sense of community I feel at Shaare Zion propelled me to become more involved. I  have served on search committees for a Rabbi and Cantor, I joined the Board and am currently a member of the Executive.

It is truly fulfilling to be an integral part of the very community that has wrapped its arms around me in the happiest and saddest moments of my life.

When I first learned of the Life and Legacy program, it resonated with me instantly. It offers me the perfect opportunity to ensure Shaare Zion’s future and vibrancy after I am gone. I am proud to be one piece of the puzzle that will ultimately protect the future of Shaare Zion.

May four generations continue to crowd the rows of the sanctuary and may Shaare Zion continue to wrap its arms around all those who need a spiritual hug.

Thu, 19 May 2022 18 Iyyar 5782