Ko’ach Campaign Speech 2019-5780

Ko’ach Campaign Speech 2019-5780

We hear you loud and clear, “You always seem to be asking us for money for something”

As Rabbi Cutler said in his Shofar column, we are a full service, very busy synagogue.

The challenge we face is how to provide our congregation and community with all of the wonderful programs and spiritual offerings you have come to enjoy, while maintaining a safe and secure place to worship.

My name is Paul Faibish and I am treasurer of Adath Israel and a proud third generation member of this synagogue. I am here today to speak on behalf of our board and executive.

We really do wish that we didn’t have to take a few minutes out of our beautiful Rosh Hashanah service to speak to you about “Ko’ach”…our annual fundraising campaign.

As we sit here in this beautiful sanctuary with our loved ones, I invite you to take a moment to think about the people sitting next to you and what they mean to you.

In Hebrew we have a phrase ‘L’dor va’dor’ which means ‘From Generation to Generation’.

Many of us have sat in the seats we are sitting in today for generations. We have shared beautiful Jewish moments with our parents, our grandparents, our great grandparents…. and are creating new memories with our children, grandchildren and even great-grandchildren.  From Generation to Generation, we pass down the traditions and values that were passed down to us….one of the most important being, supporting the growth, strength and vitality of our Adath Israel Congregation.

In a constantly changing world this support has taken many forms. In the wake of the Tree of Life Synagogue and Poway tragedies, our focus has been forced to turn to security.

I am reminded of two brothers, Cecil and David Rosenthal, who, on a Saturday morning last October, put on their suits and prepared to take part in their weekly ritual of greeting people entering Tree of Life in Pittsburgh.

Little did they know as they extended their hands in peace and friendship, while distributing prayer books, that it would be their last time performing this beloved task.

The brothers both had learning disabilities, but this didn’t stop them from becoming fully immersed in synagogue life. They were made to feel a part of their shul family in every way. One of their proudest achievements was being able to carry the Torah during weekly services.

Like you and I, eleven people went to synagogue, Tree of Life, with their families and friends never imagining, on that Saturday morning a man would walk in with an AK-15 shouting “All Jews Must Die”.

Though these acts of hate may seem a world away, we cannot sit back, believing it will never happen here. Our executive and our board of directors take the security of our synagogue very seriously. Through the hard work of our Executive Director Phil David, and Security chairman Joey Sadofsky, we have successfully received limited government funding to begin transforming Adath Israel Congregation into a safer place to bring our families, but there is still much to do in order to make our synagogue safe 24/7.

More security measures must be taken and upgrades made. Government funding is just the start. This support must and should always come from within Adath Israel as well.

As I sit with my family I reflect on the role Adath Israel has played in my life.  My grandparents were founding members of Adath Israel on Centre Street over 100 years ago. My parents were married at the Bathurst St. location. My wife and I are members. Our family sits in the same row, in the same seats that my parents sat in and my grandparents before them. Our children who are living in Toronto are members and our two granddaughters are fifth generation members of Adath.

My family, along with many of your families, helped build the first Adath Israel. As time and need grew, they continued to offer their support to build the shul where we sit today.

As we move into the future, it is our responsibility, both long-time members and new, to create a place that is safe for all of us.

For the last two years, we have been building on the Ko’ach campaign. Ko’ach is the Hebrew word for strength and has a value of 28. The campaign was founded on the premise that while those before us gave life or “Chai” to the our synagogue, it is now up to each and every one of us to give strength to our congregation for current and future generation members to come.  Right now, we need to strengthen our security. This is our top priority.

From generation to generation, you have celebrated your family milestones, the good times and the sorrowful times. This place is not just a building, but an extension of our lives.

So take a moment to turn a tab on your Ko’ach card… give strength to our congregation by choosing a multiple of 28 and help secure our future for future generations. A donation of as little as $28 from every single member will allow us to strengthen this beautiful synagogue.

Our elders built this synagogue for us to worship and grow for generations to come. Let us continue to show future generations that value of protecting our synagogue and our families who pray within its walls. 

On behalf of my family, our Executive and Board of Directors, we would like to wish everyone a happy and healthy new year and G’mar Tov.

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