Last weekend marked a milestone in the history of our congregation. In two moving and emotional services, the Bet David congregation bid farewell to the “old” Sanctuary and the Rondavel. During both services, many members were involved by Rabbi Schell in leading the congregation in prayers and the members of the Bet David Choir inspired the congregation with their beautiful music. The Erev Shabbat Family Service was made very special by the involvement of many children and the youth of our congregation led by Kendyll Jacobson, our Youth Worker. The highlight of the Shabbat Morning service was the Torah reading during which all congregants present were honoured with an Aliyah. Rabbi Schell used the opportunity to thank ManCom, Kehillah, the Choir, our teachers, the team of Gabba’ot, and Shamasim for their unending support and help in making Bet David a place of worship with a strong sense of community.
In his address to the congregation, Desmond Sweke conveyed how the idea for the development originally started and how this evolved to the plans we are now in the process of implementing. He gave an outline of the process ahead leading to the opening of the new Shul. Desmond read an e mail from Philip Mayers, past Chairman and Honorary Life Member of Bet David, now living in Australia:
“So proud of what you guys have achieved. Have a very special and historic weekend. Rhona and I thrilled to see that Bet David continues to thrive. All best wishes for the future as you move into your new home. God bless; regards to all, and Shabbat Shalom. Philip Mayers, Honorary Life Member Bet David.”
Both the dinner on Friday evening and the bracha on Saturday were well attended and opened a space for congregants to share their memories of the old Shul. Bet David has been a place for happy moments, such as baby namings, brisses, bar and bat mitzvah celebrations, weddings and other celebrations, but also a place where people could find comfort in times of sadness, loss and mourning. None of these memories will be forgotten and the new campus will continue the strong traditions established over the last 43 years, which have become the trademark of Bet David: a warm, welcoming, and inclusive congregation that invites individuals and families of all observance levels to worship and learn with us.