Try to include as many founders and past presidents as you can. This puts a face on L'Dor vDor to the congregation attending the service. Be sure to have someone take pictures. You never have a second chance. Since you will have many seniors going south, try to plan the service as early in the year as you can. Stuart
Feb 2006 Digest 024
We celebrated our 60th anniversary a few years ago. During the year we held services for each decade, included members who joined in the relevant years to take part in the service and used the liturgy of the time. We also planted six trees at Tu Bishvat; each was planted by someone in the relevant decade. We held various fund raising events throughout the year with all the money going to different charities and culminated the year with a dinner dance, again for charity. We held a Civic Service where the local mayor, local members of Parliament and ministers of other faiths were invited. We also produced a booklet called I Remember ..... where members were asked to give their memories of how the shul was during the decades. It made fascinating reading. Phyllis
Feb 2006 Digest 024
[Our congregations] 50th anniversary service was in January 2002. The service contained many elements that would have been common in 1952:
The service was led from the Union Prayer Book.
The rabbi wore his usual black robe, but without tallis and yarmulke--tallesim and yarmulkes were not made available at the door.
Flags of the U.S. and Israel flanked the ark.
Music was from the Union Hymnal and was accompanied by pipe organ.
A 1950s-style dinner was served before the service (I remember brisket and Jello molds).
At dinner, three different families (some new, some old) led candle lighting, Kiddush and Motzi.
Some remarks by founding members during dinner and at the service.
Member of the first confirmation class opened the ark for Adoration.
The wife of our late senior rabbi led service candle lighting.
Long-time member led service Kiddush surrounded by some of his Sunday school students from the 1950s and 1960s.
A 1950s-era sermon from our then-senior rabbi (z"l) was delivered--actual announcements from the 1950s were read.
Each January since, we've had a Union Prayer Book Shabbos to celebrate the anniversary, but without many of the aforementioned elements. A recent addition, which began with the retirement of our cantor , has been a string quartet playing a medley of such Classical Reform songs as Hawkes' "God Is in His Holy Temple" and Binder's "All the World Shall Come to Serve Thee."
Frank ~600 families
Feb 2006 Digest 024
We are in the process of celebrating our 50th. We have scheduled a year full of events. Kick off was a service with Eric Yoffie as the guest speaker. We are honoring our cantor of forty years another weekend. An ongoing project is what we are calling Jubilee Scholars. Our Adult Ed studies include classes taught by our rabbi, cantor and educator and Torah Study [leader] each Shabbat. Students in the program will be honored for reaching their goal of fifty hours of study at a Shabbat service next fall.
We have commissioned the writing of a Torah We will be finding and inviting all the b'nei mitzvah students over the past fifty years to be with us for the final celebratory Shabbat.
There are more social type/fundraising events, and of course, a gala and ad journal.
Feb 2006 Digest 025
Assuming you wouldn't have a problem doing this on Erev Shabbat: Something from our anniversary celebrations in the last few years (especially since digital cameras)--at the Oneg, one of our members who is a real shutterbug runs a slide show of pictures from the course of the year. No flash, no PowerPoint, just a simple xp slideshow with unsynchronized music in the background. Obviously, this could be a very invested and edited thing, but the point is that there's no need to get stymied over not knowing the software--he just throws them in a folder, orders them, and go!...This is very popular. Everyone likes to see themselves on the big screen. It helps us rise above the daily stuff and remember the peak moments. I think it is a strong community builder. Daniel
Feb 2006 Digest 026
[At our congregation] one of the highlights was a scrapbook that was prepared, with vintage photos and reminiscences. If you have someone with a long memory and some artifacts, the results will enhance the sense of community we are all trying to achieve. Today the photos could be digitally converted, and such a scrapbook could undoubtedly be presented in PowerPoint mode. Edward 470+ Households