As we prepare to celebrate the 5873 High Holy Days season and to launch our Kol Nidre Appeal, we do so with great optimism. At this time last year, we were cautiously planning to pray together, with trepidation still in our hearts and minds. Now, we look forward to seeing one another again very soon, and being able to pray, sing, observe, enjoy, reflect, and celebrate together.
This year’s High Holy Days season is especially exhilarating as it coincides with visits from our rabbinical candidates. We hope everyone will consider attending services (in-person or via our livestream) to listen to and interact with the candidates. Your feedback will help us write the next chapter in ACI’s story of providing the community with talented, kind, and welcoming rabbinical leadership.
At one point, there were more than a dozen flourishing synagogues in our neighborhood; ACI is nearly the last synagogue standing in Astoria. To create and maintain a dynamic and progressive house of worship, we need your financial support. The Kol Nidre Appeal is an essential and significant part of our operating budget. Given the extraordinary financial pressure our organization is under, we ask that you match your previous year’s Kol Nidre pledge, and, if possible, contribute a bit more, to ensure the continued presence of this wonderful institution, this hub of Jewish life, spirituality, education, and social connections.
Just as we are charting a new spiritual direction in our rabbinical search, we must also reinvigorate and refresh our physical space. Our spacious and well-situated building is aging and in need of frequent repair and, of course, constant upkeep and maintenance. In the near future, the Center’s leadership will explore capital projects to revitalize our spaces, including renovating our spacious Social Hall and kitchen, replacing the air-conditioning system in the main sanctuary, and renovating the apartment in the basement to create a new revenue source.
Even with careful and consistent cost trimming, our synagogue requires the financial altruism of its members and friends to move forward with the aforementioned plans. And so, at this special time of year, ACI turns to all of you, who have enjoyed – at this special synagogue – meaningful Judaism, social ties and friendships, vital fellowship in times of sadness and joy, and a range of programs, services and education for all ages and backgrounds.
To help ensure ACI’s future, we ask that you please give generously to our annual Kol Nidre Appeal.
Donations from all – members, non-members, visitors, extended family, and all friends of ACI – are vital, valued, and greatly appreciated. Your generosity makes a difference, especially now as we look for new members and support for our progressive house of worship in the greater Western Queens community.
Please help ensure that ACI will continue to be here for you and the Jewish community, for now and for years to come.
Thank you so much for your generous and tax-deductible contribution. Donations by check, made out to Astoria Center of Israel, may be mailed or brought to the ACI office. If you prefer, you may donate online
However, a more tax-efficient and impactful way of making donations to ACI is by gifting securities (such as stocks or shares in a mutual fund) that have appreciated in value. Doing so provides the donor with a larger tax deduction and also increases the benefit to the synagogue.
The Astoria Center of Israel now has a charitable brokerage account with Vanguard that was set up for just that purpose, and can accept securities instead of cash. Details and videos explaining the benefits of this donation vehicle as well as the instructions to provide your custodian are available here and an announcement will be made to our membership.
Wishing you and your family a Shanah Tovah U’metukah, a good and sweet New Year ahead.
Aryeh Gershon, President
Eric Black, Chair, Board of Governors and Trustees
Elysa Blumenthal, Chair, Kol Nidre Appeal