Dear Friends,
In March of this past year, so many of our lives were turned upside down. We came together on Purim for a celebration, not knowing it would be our last time together as a congregation for many months. Children left school expecting to be back in a few days, many of us left our offices with the hope of returning in a week or so, and families talked on the phone making plans for the Pesach seder a month away. Soon, we were scrambling for groceries, toilet paper, and work. Now, more than 6 months later, virtual school, work, family gatherings, and life behind a mask have become the new norm.  Throughout it all, you have heard from KM as we’ve tried to support our community, our staff, and those around us. We’ve worked to adjust to this new reality and meet the needs of our congregation through holidays, life cycle events, and educational and social programming.
In April, Rabbi and Cantor led our Passover seder, side by side, from the comfort of the dining room table. In May, we braided and cooked dozens of challot. In June, Rabbi Gotlieb and Cantor Cohen returned to the Sanctuary for Shabbat morning services. In July, we convened a working retreat for twenty-five officers and trustees. In August, we celebrated the b’nai mitzvah of two dedicated KM teens. In September, we welcomed the new year, worshipping along with 190+ “screens” on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Timeless Torah with Rabbi, Cantor’s Play List, Coffee with Kate, Story Time with Masha, and a vibrant Religious School all have not only survived, but thrived.  Even in the virtual world, we have been praying, learning, celebrating, and laughing, more than ever. We are both so proud of all that we have done together as a community this past year, and we know that you are too.
So many of you have committed your own personal resources to ensure the current and future security of KM. You have renewed your membership, and for many of you, increased your level of support. We are so grateful for your continued engagement as we look to continue to meet the needs of our community. With all of this in mind, our 2020-5781 Annual Appeal has special meaning. A distinctive year already, we know this can be the time in KM’s history that we later recall with a deeper sense of pride and purpose, a year that we defined what it meant to be a kehilla. A year spent working to find new and engaging ways to welcome Shabbat, celebrate holidays, and foster connections with one another in spite of our limitations, and support each other in a great time of need.
Our 2020-5781 Annual Appeal goal is 100% participation, with every member of our synagogue family making a contribution to this year’s effort.  Your commitment will allow us to continue our religious, educational and social programmatic efforts, while also helping those members who might need a little more support this year. We ask that you reflect candidly upon your relationship with Kehillat Ma’arav, our community, our entire KM family, and give as generously as you can. 
Every gift is meaningful. Every gift counts. Every gift matters. 
At any level, your gift helps KM sustain the warm and welcoming community that we have nurtured in new and creative ways during the pandemic, and ensures that when we are able to stand shoulder to shoulder again, that we do so with a strong foundation. Most importantly, your financial support makes Kehillat Ma’arav widely accessible to all those who wish to join us, regardless of their financial capacity, and now, more than ever, to those in our congregation whose circumstances have changed in recent months. We are counting on you; please make your gift today. You may choose to make a pledge and pay later (by December 31, 2020), or make your gift and pay online right now, using the buttons below.
On behalf of your Board and staff, thank you in advance for your generosity. We wish you good health and meaningful connections to family and friends in the coming year.
Sam Levitt                              Kate Flanagan
President                                Executive Director