Rosh Hashana 5772

As we stand at the cusp of a new year, let’s each take some time to reflect on the highs and lows of our past year, as well as our plans and aspirations for the coming one.

As a community, we have had a 5771 with elements of profound loss and grief as well as deep joy and celebration.  Makom has continued to grow by all measures.  In two-and-a-half years, we have doubled our creative, meaningful, and diverse programming, with an average of 4 programs per month in 2009, 5 per month in 2010, and 8 per month thus far in 2011.  We have also seen increases in participation, website visits, Facebook group members, and Twitter followers.  Our email list currently has 936 subscribers.

This past summer, we launched Makom Families, monthly programming geared toward kids and families in order to create community among downtown Jewish families with kids and to provide quality Jewish activities at family-friendly times.  The Downtown Jewish Play School began earlier this month with its first cohort of 6 children, meeting five days a week for Hebrew immersion play and creative Jewish content for ages three to seven.

We continue to receive overwhelmingly positive qualitative feedback from many of you on your experiences with Makom, along with constructive criticism that helps us improve.  We recently surveyed our community with a comprehensive questionnaire and received 175 responses (thank you!), the results of which we’ll analyze and share in the coming months.  We received donations from 107 individuals in our community, as well as grants from Natan, YCT Rabbinical School, BYFI Alumni Venture Fund, and Live Green Toronto.  We appreciate this support immensely.

We have an amazing and ambitious line up of programs and services in Tishrei, the first month of the new year; I hope you’ll join us for them (details below).  Further ahead, we’re looking forward to Makom’s first Annual General Meeting, expanded avenues for volunteering for and giving to Makom, and increased organizational strength as we continue to grow and meet the needs of our diverse downtown community.

Thank you for your ongoing involvement in Makom; we’re building this community together.  I look forward to making Makom soar with you in 5772.

Warmest wishes for a shanah tovah um-tukah – a sublime and sweet new year,

Aaron & the Makom Leadership Team (Andrea, Felicia, Louise, Miriam, Ruth, Sarah, and Tema)

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