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Dear Fellow Congregant,
We hope that the Hanukkah season has brought some light and joy into your lives. We wanted to update you with some changes to our reopening protocols that we’re making based on New York State requirements and comments that we’ve received from some of you. As you may be aware, on Friday, December 10th, New York Governor Hochul announced a new statewide mandate that took effect starting yesterday. In light of the winter surge of the Delta variant which is now underway, and a new variant of concern, Omicron, which appears to be spreading; taking into account that the cold weather results in many of us engaging in more activities that put us amongst crowds in indoor spaces; with knowledge that COVID-19 vaccines are now widely available, and with 5-12 year-olds now eligible for vaccination; and to ensure we act at all times in a manner which is consistent with State policy, we are now requiring that anyone who enters our facilities must be vaccinated.
Effective immediately, anyone 12 years of age or older must be fully vaccinated as a condition of entry inside any Kol Ami building. In accordance with the CDC’s definition and state law, fully vaccinated is defined as 14 days past an individual’s last vaccination dose in their initial vaccine series (14 days past the second shot of a two-dose Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine; 14 days past the one-shot Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine). Since vaccines for children ages 5 – 11 have only been available since November 2021, for now in order to enter a Kol Ami building, children ages 5 – 11 only have to show proof of having had at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccination. We will update this requirement if New York changes their rules.
Acceptable proof of vaccination includes: Excelsior Pass, Excelsior Pass Plus, SMART Health Cards issued outside of New York State, full-course vaccination through NYC COVID Safe app, a CDC Vaccination Card, or other official immunization record. To make this transition as easy as possible, Click here to submit your proof of vaccination into our secure database. Please note that we will not store a copy of your vaccination card, but will note your submission in our records. In the alternative, you may bring your proof of vaccination with you the first time you enter a synagogue building.
For all our congregants bringing guests to programs or worship services in our building, including families celebrating B’nai Mitzvah, please make sure that all your guests are aware of, and comply with, our vaccination policies.
In accordance with the CDC’s recommendations, we will continue to require that a proper-fitting mask be worn at all times when inside any Kol Ami building. Children 2 – 5 who remain ineligible for vaccination must wear a proper-fitting mask. We continue to recommend the use of a surgical or KN-95 mask rather than a cloth mask.
Our ongoing commitment is to provide a safe and healthy environment for us to worship, learn, celebrate, engage and practice Tikkun Olam. We recognize this is a new way forward and appreciate your support and cooperation.
Thank you for choosing to be a Kol Ami member. As always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to either of us.
The mission of the Chai Task Force is to guide Kol Ami throughout the transition from our current Rabbinic Partnership Model through the process of hiring a new Senior Rabbi and Assistant Rabbi and welcoming them to the congregation. To do this we will:
- Learn from our members the qualities that are important in our new rabbis (Listen & Learn Sessions)
- Celebrate and honor Rabbi Milgrom and Dr. David Elcott
- Celebrate and honor Rabbi Weiner
- Welcome the new Senior Rabbi
- Welcome the new Assistant Rabbi
The following teams will be created to accomplish the above:
- Plan and organize Listen & Learn Sessions
- Formulate questions to be asked at the Listen & Learn Sessions
- Facilitate Listen & Learn Sessions
- Zoom Specialists to execute Listen & Learn Sessions
- Plan and organize Rabbi Milgrom and Dr. David Elcott’s celebration
- Plan and organize Rabbi Weiner’s celebration
- Plan and organize the new Senior Rabbi’s welcome events
- Plan and organize the new Assistant Rabbi’s welcome events
Listen & Learn Focus Sessions
Information gathered from the Listen & Learn Sessions will be provided to the Senior Rabbi Search and Assistant Rabbi Search Committees to assist in the writing of the job description for each position and questions candidates will be asked.
The plan is to hold Listen & Learn Sessions from January 2022 through April 14, 2022 with:
- New members
- Long time members
- ECP parents
- ECP teachers
- Religious School parents
- Religious School teachers
- Youth Group members
- High Holy Day only members
- B’nai Mitzvah families
- College Youth parents
- Shabbat in the Woods families
- Everyone Else!
Liz Mayeri and her husband David live in White Plains and are the parents of two college-aged sons. Members of Kol Ami for more than 15 years, they have enjoyed a range of activities – initially from the parents’ perspective – watching their sons grow in Religious School up through Confirmation and beyond.
Liz’s first term on the Board of Trustees started in 2017 where she served as the Board liaison to the Youth Group. Following that, she was selected to serve on the Nominating Committee, along with being elected as Secretary for the Executive Committee for the past two years. In addition, she participated in the Search Committee for the new Early Childhood Program Director in 2020. Among the many experiences and programs she has enjoyed at Kol Ami, the Coachman Thanksgiving Dinner has been particularly meaningful for her and her family. She is keenly invested in ensuring a smooth Rabbinic transition and maintaining the warm sense of community she and her family love at Kol Ami.
In her professional life, Liz is the Director of International PR for Orange Business Services, a global digital services company.
Jen Josephs has been a member of Congregation Kol Ami for 10 years. She lives in Tarrytown with her three teenagers, Samuel 15, Mia 13, and Sophie 13, who have attended Kol Ami’s Religious School since kindergarten and proudly think of Kol Ami as their home away from home. Jen is a former Board Trustee and has co-chaired the Religious School Committee and the Retreat Committee. She has also participated in over 15 other committees and projects including the Board Nominating Committee, Reopening Task Force, Annual Benefit Committee, and Kol Ami Vision Committee.
Jen is deeply involved with the Jewish community in her professional life as well. She is a Human-Centered Designer and Brand Strategist who specializes in building lasting relationships between organizations and their audiences, or companies and their stakeholders. She spent several years as the Chief Marketing Officer of the Shames JCC on the Hudson, and now consults with several Jewish organizations across the country. This past summer, Jen was selected as a Fellow in the Senior Executive Cohort of Hadar’s Jewish Wisdom Fellowship.
Jen relishes in the diversity of Kol Ami’s warm and loving community— diversity in generation, culture, background, beliefs, interests, and ideas. She is honored to co-Chair the Assistant Rabbi Search Committee and is dedicated to ensuring that the needs of all congregants are considered when paving the way forward. Jen is motivated by a deeply rooted belief that together, in community, everything is possible.
Scott Musoff and his family have been members of Congregation Kol Ami for over 20 years when their oldest of three daughters started in the Kol Ami Early Childhood Program. Before Scott joined the board, his wife Cindy was a long time board member and served as a Vice President. Most recently Cindy volunteered to serve as acting Director of the ECP during its transition to a permanent director. Their three daughters — Dani, Jamie and Jenna — all attended the ECP and Religious School.
Scott is an Immediate Past Co-President of the Congregation, having served as Co-President alongside Susan Kohn Arovas from July 2017 through June 2021. In that time they, among other things, managed the Congregation’s early response to the COVID pandemic, reviewed security measures in light of the aftermath of the Tree of Life massacre, finalized Rabbinic contracts, and ensured cantorial continuity by hiring Danny Mendelson as Interim Cantor upon the departure of Cantor Rosen in 2020. Scott has also been actively involved in other aspects of the Kol Ami community including having played the role as the lead prosecutor in Kol Ami’s biblical trials over the last 10 years.
Scott is looking forward to this opportunity to assist the Congregation in selecting its next Rabbi to continue the best of what our wonderful and holy community has to offer. Scott is grateful for the confidence the community continues to place in him and Susan and is excited to partner again with Susan on this sacred mission to lead the Senior Rabbi Search Committee.
I have been a member of Congregation Kol Ami since 1989. From 2003 to 2007 I served as President of the Congregation. During my tenure, we hired a cantor, ECP Director, completed a capital project, redesigned the religious school, and consolidated Friday Shabbat worship services. Prior to being president, I served as Vice President, Secretary and Member of the Board of Trustees. I served on the rabbinic search committee when we hired Rabbi Weiner, chaired the music committee, was chair of the Synagogue 2000 team, chair of the Nominating Committee for three years after being president, organized the community break-the-fast, adult Chanukah party and several times have led Kol Ami’s second Seder. I also sing in the volunteer choir.
I am an alumnus of the North American Board of the URJ (Union for Reform Judaism). Currently, I am a facilitator for URJ sponsored Synagogue Board Leadership Development Workshops, a Presidents’ Network Coach and have led sessions with synagogue boards on URJ The Impact of Covid-19 Workshops.
For 28 years, I have been the executive assistant to the vice chair of an investment bank. I am the proud aunt to five nieces and nephews, delighted Grantie to 2 great-nephews and 1 great-niece and the daughter of the late Rabbi Eugene B. Borowitz z’l and Dr. Estelle Borowitz z’l.