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2023 Annual Appeal

Please enter the amount of the donation to the General Fund for the 2023 Annual Appeal.
For tax purposes, credit card payments must be made by December 31, 2023 at midnight and checks must be received in the TBE office by January 15, 2024 and dated by December 31, 2023 to be included in the 2023 tax statement.




2023 Temple Beth Emeth Annual Appeal

Dear Temple Family,

This has certainly been a year of transition and challenges. As I reflect on the year, I am very thankful, though not at all surprised, that the Temple Beth Emeth community has continued to persevere and come together to support each other as a community. Our Jewish home in Ann Arbor, together with our clergy and leadership, has also been there for us as we try to make sense of all that is taking place both here and in Israel. 

As 2023 draws to a close, we reflect on the many transitions that took place this year, none of which would have been possible without support (financial and otherwise) from the TBE community. In January, we welcomed Shannon Hall as our new executive director, and she hit the ground running. During Rabbi Whinston’s well-deserved sabbatical, we welcomed Alden Solovy as a liturgist in residence and had an opportunity to start getting to know Rabbi Chelsea Feuchs, who is now serving as our Interim Director of Religious Education. Rabbi Feuchs has already introduced new programming, including adding a Family Camp experience to Elementary Shabbat. Family Camp brings the joy of Jewish summer camp to the school year and gives families an opportunity to play and learn together while building community.

Along with these transitions, we also faced a number of challenges. We are overjoyed that Cantor Hayut is on a path to healing and has been able to return to the bimah, including during the High Holy Days. We are incredibly grateful that Cantor Emerita Annie Rose was able to provide our community, including Cantor Hayut, with support during Cantor Hayut’s treatment–it was both emotional and meaningful to see our two cantors together at the High Holy Days, singing and leading us in prayer.

Unfortunately, we continue to face an increase in antisemitism and extremism that has made it necessary for us to take proactive steps to enhance the safety and security of our community. Last year, we reached out to you for funds to increase security. You responded generously.  Thank you! Your contributions have been used to provide security during TBE worship services and events and to secure our exterior doors (in partnership with Genesis). 

The urgency of these steps has been confirmed by more recent threats and rising antisemitism. This summer, during a Shabbat service, we had to evacuate our building to a safe location because of a threat to our sister congregation, Beth Israel. More recently, Rabbi Whinston received a potentially threatening voicemail. In both of these instances, Ann Arbor police, together with our own security staff and our Jewish Community Security manager, responded quickly and capably to ensure our safety.

We are grateful for the support from our St. Clare’s partners in these safety and security efforts, which led to Genesis submitting a federal security grant proposal this winter. We are very pleased to announce that Genesis’s proposal has been selected for funding. Todah rabah to everyone who contributed to the proposal! The projects supported by the federal funding will add to our physical security over the next few years while maintaining our open and welcoming community. Thank you for your continued vigilance–if you see something, say something.

We have much to look forward to this year. We are grateful to be able to spend the year celebrating Cantor Hayut in the lead up to her retirement in June, culminating in a dinner and special service on May 31 and a gala dinner and tribute program at Washtenaw Community College on June 1. We kicked off our celebration of the 50th Anniversary of our Genesis partnership with this year’s Erev Thanksgiving service. We have begun the search process to continue to build our fantastic team of clergy and staff with a new Cantor, Director of Religious Education, and Director of Engagement and Lifelong Learning. We are lucky to have dedicated committees leading those search processes and are incredibly excited about what the future holds. We are continually strengthened by the support of our membership and by the joy of being together in community.

Some of these transitions and challenges have led to unexpected but necessary expenditures outside the scope of our budget for the fiscal year. At this time of Thanksgiving, I ask you to make a year-end gift to our General Fund to help cover these extra expenses. (If you would prefer to make a donation through a required minimum distribution, stock transfer, or other method, please contact the office.) Your generous support makes it possible for TBE to weather any challenges that come our way and remain responsive and strong when we need it most, while allowing us to continue the other important work supported by our General Fund. Your donations also ensure that our synagogue will be there for this generation and for the generations to come. As ever, I am very appreciative of this incredibly special community and your support.


Margaret Hannon

TBE President

Tue, December 5 2023 22 Kislev 5784