Shalom Friends,

The High Holidays are here. The year 5777 is upon us. Wow! Where did the time go? We have so much going on. I hope you’ll take advantage of the programs and be an active participant at Congregation Beth Israel.

Cantor Linda Shivers arrives this weekend. She’s staying at the shul with her husband. If you’d like to show her some southern hospitality, if you’d like to sit down and talk with her about Judaism, if you just want to share a meal with her, let us know. We have openings Saturday and Sunday before Rosh Hashanah, and Monday and Tuesday during Rosh Hashanah.

If you’re interested in an Aliyah during High Holidays, contact me right away. I’m developing that schedule, and want to make sure you’re on it.

As you go through this month’s newsletter, you’ll read about a Sukkah Hop. Thanks to everyone who’s opening their homes, and their Sukkahs to our members.

On Monday, Oct. 24, Rabbi Jeremy Simons from ISJL will be here. Rabbi Simons will lead Shemini Atzeret services with Yizkor at 5:30 p.m. After that, we’ll have a simple dinner, and by the time dinner is over, it will be time for Simchat Torah. We really want as many of you as possible to join us for Simchat Torah.

Keep reading. In a few minutes, you’ll see a message from Rabbi Annie Lewis. Remember Rabbi Annie? We’re so fortunate she’s coming back to the Gulf Coast to work with Congregation Beth Israel. Rabbi Annie will visit our synagogue four times over the next six to eight months. In between those visits, she’ll be available through phone calls, Skype chats and emails to provide whatever rabbinic needs you might have. The board feels it is critical for Congregation Beth Israel to have a rabbi at our disposal. We know Rabbi Annie is the right fit for our community. We’re finalizing Rabbi Annie’s schedule. Her first visit will be in November.

One more reminder. We’re sponsoring a canned food drive. It will run through the end of October. When you come to Congregation Beth Israel, bring a donation and help a friend in need.

What a special month. October brings us Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Simchat Torah and Shabbat. Plus, we get visits from Cantor Shivers, Rabbi Simons and, soon after, Rabbi Annie. We’re hosting these services and providing these programs for you and your families. We need you to show up and participate. It’s time for our Jewish community to come together as a family. It’s time for Congregation Beth Israel to once again become the hub of Jewish activities in South Mississippi.

From my family to yours,

L’Shana Tovah