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Yizkor Pledges
The text below is reproduced from the speech by ICCJ President David Hasson at the Yizkor Service, Yom Kippur 5775

Good day everyone.

We are here together at this moment during our Yom Kippur Yizkor Service to remember some of the very important traditions that we have as Jews. As the rabbi pointed out last night , one of the many great traditions we have is HOPE. As was so beautifully pointed out in the story she told, a tree was planted so that generations to come would enjoy it. There was hope for the future. But let’s remember that the tree, like any other tree to be enjoyed for generations, needed to take root. And what it needed to take root, like any tree, was nourishment. And once the tree took root, like any tree, constant nourishment had to be given, so that the tree would continue to be there to be enjoyed.

Well, 10 years ago, we planted a tree that we named ICCJ. Ten years ago, ICCJ took root. (In fact, looking at our logo, ICCJ is actually represented as trees). And ten years later, we have enjoyed, and are primed to continue enjoying everything ICCJ has to offer.

Clearly, we have weekly Shabbat religious services, both on Friday nights and Saturdays; We come together for minyans; We educate our youths in our award-winning religious school and USY Youth Group programs; Through many Adult Education events, through our auxiliaries, our Golden Age Club, Rabbi's Classes, Book Café, and so on, we continue to educate and support our adults as well.

We socialize together, we eat together, offer tzedakah  together; we share in simchas, and life- cycle events. But - there is much that ICCJ needs in return to keep this tree strong and going. Our tree, ICCJ, needs nourishment.

Another of our traditions, especially during Yizkor, is Tzedakah. In our tradition the word Tzedukah has come to mean Charity. And it is a tradition that we as Jews have come to live by, because we care, and because it is the best example we can pass on to our children and to others, and it is our way of remembering and carrying on the traditions of our loved ones.

What better time to continue to breathe these traditions into ICCJ and nourish YOUR TREE than during Kol Nidre?

Our TREE is committed to providing services and events to our community. However these IMPORTANT activities and services come at a cost, both in manpower and in monetary terms.

So how can you carry on the traditions of remembering your loved ones and Tzedakah today? How can you provide Nourishment to your Tree?

First, we ask that you pledge monetary resources to ICCJ. Indeed, we count on your Yizkor donation as we build our budget annually and commit to continue providing these programs and services. If you have not already made your Yizkor pledge, or if you would like to increase your pledge, there are pledge cards at your seats that will give you that opportunity right now. Just fold the tab from the pledge card on your seats, and turn the card in to our ushers who are available to pick these up. Please be as generous as possible. Nourish your tree.

But in addition to supporting this monetary appeal, the staff, officers, trustees and I hope and pray that this year you will also commit some of your time, energy and skills to the work of the synagogue. There is much to be done. Please, don’t wait to be asked to help. Pledge today that you will volunteer your time, your talent and your resources to ICCJ, the tree that IS your Community that is here for you.

Lastly, if you cannot devote your time, please use what ICCJ has to offer. Our religious services, our educational programming, our social action, and our social calendar are all here for us to take part. Our staff and our committees work very hard and thoughtfully to deliver on what we have to offer. Embrace ICCJ and make it yours. Enjoy your TREE.

Just to reiterate –Your financial Resources, your time, and your presence. Please do your best to pledge and deliver on all three, in memory of loved ones passed, and for continued hope for the future. Remember, we each seal ourselves in the Book of Life, by the act of living fully and completely and generously every day—using the gifts that G-d has bestowed upon us. Only by so doing, will the days of our lives be meaningful and rich.