From Rabbi Lotker

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August 18, 2018

I am so excited about the coming High Holy Days that are coming. The Hebrew words that we use to greet each other at Rosh Hashanah,“Shanah Tovah,” can mean either wishes for a “good year” or for a “good change.” There are many changes that have take place in our community over the last few years – all of them good. These include a new name, the Jewish Community of Ojai, that better tells the world who we are; a newly remodeled building (social hall, sanctuary, bimah, foyer, stained windows and even my new rabbi’s study); a new Board of Directors, our wonderful High Holy Day prayer books and the participation of our old friend Casey Solow as our new Cantorial Soloist.

People often tell me that they are spiritual but not necessarily religious – that in fact they don’t like organized religion. My thought is that if the purpose of religious spirituality is to make world a better place, why not organize to do a better job. The word religion comes from the same root as the word ligament – that which joins us together. In our tradition, you can be a Jew by Choice but you cannot be a Jew by Self! I look forward to joining with you in the coming High Holy Days and in 5779 as we work together to make ourselves, our community and our world ever better.

Rabbi Michael Lotker