Dear Friends,

L’Shanah Tovah! We are Bonnie and Charlie Alter, and it is our honor to serve as the Chairs of Shaaray Tefila’s 5781 Annual Appeal! The campaign launched in August with a letter from Rabbi Joel Mosbacher and President, Liz Sherman. As you may know, the Annual Appeal is the Temple’s most important and largest fundraiser of the year.

After moving to the Upper East Side, we joined Shaaray Tefila in 2016. We immediately felt the warmth of the congregation upon entering the sanctuary when we attended our first Shabbat Service and then knew that TST was where we wanted to become a part of the community and become our new spiritual home! Coming from a Conservative/Orthodox Jewish background, Shaaray Tefila has provided us with a sort of “Jewish Renaissance” in learning and appreciating Judaism.

We enjoy and participate in many activities at Shaaray Tefila including attending Shabbat services and Saturday minyan & Torah Study, as well as, attending Men’s club, and Sisterhood programs. Our leadership roles within the congregation have included “Captain Charlie” of the WZC Election, Board of Trustees member, and being a part of the Red Apron Brigade at Sandwich Saturday. We also attended the Biennial in 2017 and 2019 as part of the TST delegation.

Since the start of the pandemic we have participated in countless Zoom programs including the short story book club, trope class, discussions about racism, and many of the other cultural program offerings.

Our goal is to secure a minimum of 80% participation from our congregation and we hope we can count on you to reach it. We are also proud to share that we already have 100% participation from the Board of Trustees. If you haven’t already donated, please consider a gift to the 5781 Annual Appeal at the same level or higher than last year.

As a result of the pandemic, there have been many changes and challenges this year, all of which have caused us to rethink our needs, our values, and reflect on our strengths. This time also gave us a chance to renew our Jewish faith and to lean on TST for guidance and support. The “Gates of Prayer” at the corner of 79th Street and 2nd Avenue are not just gates to our sanctuary, they represent a strong community bound together for over 175 years on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. These iron gates represent both strength and security and we will reopen for our congregation when it is safe to do so. Our Clergy and staff will be there to welcome us, as they have been in the past.

Thank you for joining us for High Holy Day services. It was a wonderful reminder to Strengthen Our Community, to recognize TST’s hard work to continue supporting our members, to spread hope and joy, and to educate no matter where we are. Needless to say, we could not do this without you.

L’Shanah Tovah,
Bonnie & Charlie Alter
Chairs, Shaaray Tefila’s Annual Appeal