Mazal tov! I am so delighted to tell you that the Community Foundation for Jewish Education (CFJE) and JUF Right Start awarded our congregation a Barrier Buster Grant of $15,000 in support to explore the possibilities of early childhood education and engagement at Emanuel. Thanks to a gift from the Harvey L. Miller Supporting Foundation, Barrier Buster Grants are specifically for Jewish early childhood programs, designed to attract more families to Jewish education and communal life. I am also very grateful to Dan and Amy Smolensky, who created our winning proposal.
The presence and participation of our youngest children and the very important adults in their lives serve as an essential catalyst to the success of our mission, present and future. At Emanuel Congregation, we seek to empower adults and children alike to apply Jewish values to our everyday lives and to be a collective force for good. And, the very best time to initiate this process is at the beginning of these children's lives and the outset of their parents' and grandparents' responsibility to raise them for mentschlikeit. Be it for learning, praying, building community, making a difference in the world or living with virtue, we want to make sure that our early childhood families know and feel Emanuel's doors are wide open and welcoming, and that we provide a sacred space in which to build an inspiring and purposeful Jewish life.
We are building a brighter future for our current and prospective early childhood families, and this special grant from CFJE/JUF will help us make substantial progress. In the meantime, there is some low-hanging fruit to harvest, like renewing our Shabbat-a-Tot experience. Cantor Friedman and I look forward to welcoming you and your Tot(s) (0-5 years) at 10:00 am Saturday morning, April 29th in the library. Our time together promises to be musical, prayerful and fun. Please RSVP so we can prepare best for your presence.