|What’s Blue & White, and Is New All Over? : Bnai Jacob Music Fest|
|Written by Yael Israel|
This was a magical summer evening complete with folk music, good food and wine, votive candles, Israeli flags and white & blue flowers. Over 80 guests attended. The event marks a milestone for Bnai Jacob; this is the largest group to attend a social event here in several years. Accolades flowed freely, as some guests reminisced. “This reminds me of the weddings and parties we used to have here years ago” said Betty Arenson, a long time member of Bnai Jacob. Anita Olliviere another long-timer congregant echoed her remarks. “We could have lots of guests and parties here again”. Increasingly, there is a renewed optimism.
Connecting to a new future however will require change. As one of the guests noted: “Change is inevitable. We need only to look to the New York Stock Exchange for a parallel. Did you know that of the original Dow 30 stocks, only 1 survives today? That is a 97% attrition rate. We need an assertive outreach program. It is essential to our survival”, said Jerry Levy another long time member of Bnai Jacob.
Indeed, outreach is important, especially if Bnai Jacob wants to connect to younger generations in the area. But outreach is expensive. It requires a specialized focus to raise funds in a variety of ways. Event planning is only one aspect of fund raising. Jane Canter, Co-President of Bnai Jacob points out. “An important aspect is that every event should make money; not necessarily a lot but nothing should lose money. The members and the outside community must be taught to support these institutions financially at every turn or the synagogues will not be there when they are needed”.
One of the goals for this event was to tap into a new energy by extending invitations to the wider Jewish community. The invited guests came mostly from
Revitalizing Jewish community life in
The event organizers for this Bnai Jacob event were Jane & Sid Canter, Min Natovitz, Lenore Berkowitz, co-Presidents and Pauline Danton of Bnai Jacob.
The mood is more hopeful that someday many new guests will fill the banquet hall. As Yael Israel, member of Bnai Jacob and Hudson Jewish, Treasurer noted, “What a pretty sight it will be: hundreds of blue & white balloons with hundreds of new guests”.
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