I continue to be both honored and humbled at the accomplishments of our special BJ community, including our dedicated spiritual leadership and staff. Thanks to your participation and financial support, 2019-2020 was a year of undeniable growth for BJ, and it included the participation of over 4,000 people at our High Holy Days services.

Of course, much has changed in a few short months, with the ongoing pandemic affecting all of our lives profoundly. BJ has approached this moment as an opportunity to both nourish our members and introduce broader audiences to the ways BJ enriches people’s lives. Like other institutions, BJ was compelled to pivot to a virtual platform, and we did so with respect to all of our offerings, including Shabbat services, minyanim, programming, Kadima@BJ (our Hebrew School), adult education classes, and community service opportunities—all of which enrich the lives of individuals and enhance our collective feeling of abiding community.

We are gratified at the extent to which our members have participated in our virtual offerings, and we are delighted to be extending our outreach worldwide, with a multitude of non-members from around the globe participating in our beautiful and meaningful Kabbalat Shabbat and Shabbat morning services, the life-blood of our congregation. BJ’s importance in the Jewish world has never been more resonant. We’ve never been needed more, and we have answered the call to offer strength and comfort to our community.

At this time, I am pleased to share with you BJ’s 2021 projected operating budget. Our community’s $7.38 million operating budget is achieved through your membership dollars and Kol Nidre Appeal contributions, as well as annual fundraiser participation, foundation, and grant support. We experience every day how BJ embodies the mitzvah of tzedakah, thereby ensuring fairness throughout our community. BJ serves as a communal home where all are able to both receive and give support.

It is because of our member donors that BJ can continue to be a community where growth is achievable, activism is constant, and sustainability is possible. Your continuing membership and support of this year’s Kol Nidre Partnership Appeal are particularly essential given these uncertain times. We thank you in advance for your generosity, for giving until it feels good.

With you as our students, our teachers, our caregivers, and our activists, we continue to carry the light of limitless possibility for this community and the values we cherish so deeply. Thank you for making BJ your spiritual home and a philanthropic priority. We are so fortunate to be partners on this journey