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A Moment in Time

Dear community members, friends and supporters,

We have a special year behind us that has given us a lot and demanded a lot from us. And we have big plans, special challenges and hopefully a warm, open, safe and colorful community life on many levels ahead of us. As our Rabbi explained in the Drashah on December 22nd at our last Kiddush of 2023, the transition to the civil year is also an important time for us, even though our New Year already took place in September. It is therefore appropriate for us to look back and look ahead at this point in time.

A Look Back

Two major events moved us last year and they could hardly be more different. Together with the world, we witnessed a brutal, vile attack on Israel by Hamas and then the war that ensued. We all knew immediately that in war the first casualty is innocence and, despite the need for defense, many of us also have serious doubts about whether there can be a just war. The suffering has also reached our families. We felt how mutual support and security through rituals and comfort in difficult times is a given in our community. For many of us, our community was a place of safe retreat in the first few weeks after the attack. We were even able to set an example together with Christian and Muslim communities to show that, from our point of view, this is not a religious war and that we as people will not allow ourselves to be divided. We don't want to accept the logic of violence, because even if it sometimes seems hopeless, nothing good ever comes from it.

Picture of the inauguration of our Synagogue in September 2023

The other moving event was the opening of our synagogue! It has already been said and written many times and it is true: this achievement was and is anything but self-evident or to be expected. On many levels, it is a miracle that we were able to overcome the structural, financial, formal legal, bureaucratic and practical challenges under the leadership of our Rabbi. But all of this would be nothing if it had not been shown that this Beit Knesset is so naturally and warmly accepted by everyone and has made our community life even more intense. The many good wishes, including from non-Jewish voices, have touched and inspired us to continue on our path to a vibrant Judaism in Dresden. We on the advisory board are delighted that so many of us are taking part and that we are contributing our hearts, heads and hands.

A Look Ahead

The essence of outlooks is their uncertainty. We don't know what the future will bring us, but that shouldn't stop us from wishing, dreaming and working and fighting for our cause. We will continue to do this in our community. Our synagogue choir is being further developed and we have begun to make our rooms and opportunities available to young people for their own projects. In 2024, our already advanced community kitchen will take its final form and provide us with even more exquisite delicacies. Plans have already been made for shiurim regarding melodies and prayers as well as procedures in the synagogue and we are hearing a lot of interest in this. At the administrative level, the board continues to work with great enthusiasm on professionalization at all levels. Help in the area of community work is always very welcome. Almost each and every one of us has talents that can be of great help to the community. As for the synagogue, we expect the entrance to be completed soon - our volunteers are working hard on it in their free time! The floor and the further furnishings will be a task for the next few years and donations in kind, ideas, money and work are an indispensable support. Your own ideas are also welcome.

The Moment

Even though looking out and looking back orients us and perhaps allows us to feel where we are and where we are going, the moment is just as important. After all, the present is the only thing that is truly real, because, strictly speaking, memories and future ideas only take place in our heads. What we perceive with our senses is what is and not only has a special quality, but also allows us to connect with one another. For example, when we sit together at Kiddush, sing together or work together on a project or work, we experience ourselves and those around us. That's what we call community and it's what sets our community apart. We on the advisory board hope that we will continue to look after ourselves and each other well next year, stand up for each other, listen to each other and find compromises with goodwill. This is the pound that can grow and the basis for what we have achieved and will achieve. With this in mind, our wish for 2024 goes out to all of us - members, friends, red or blue, crooked or straight, old or young, binary or not.

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