Members of the Greenwich Reform Synagogue celebrated the Jewish harvest festival of Sukkot on Sunday with a brief service at their future home at 92 Orchard Street.
“Greenwich Reform Synagogue stands at the threshold to our promised land. One year from now, we will celebrate our 40th anniversary since the birth of our beloved congregation,” Rabbi Andrew Sklarz said to a group of about two dozen congregants.
“Like our ancestors, the ancient Israelites who took leave of their sukkahs, after 40 years of wandering int he dessert, we will have our temple,” Rabbi Sklarz continued. “We have encountered a few bumps along the road… but we look forward to welcoming our friends and neighbors of diverse faith communities of Greenwich into our new home.”
GRS co-president of the board, Wendy Schreiber described feeling so overcome with emotion could barely speak. “It’s been a very long journey. This is the first time I really believe it is going to happen,” she said. “It is a wonderful moment for GRS and I think our community will grow and blossom here. And we will welcome our neighbors. Let’s just remember this glorious day.”
Marc Abrams, co-president of GRS, introduced the featured guest, First Selectman Peter Tesei. “Since we resolved the legal issues with the town, we’ve been working closely with Peter and the various town agencies, to make up for lost time and to have our high holy days services here in our new home next year.”
Abrams said the process had been difficult, but that he’d gotten to know the First Selectman and appreciated his help. Abrams said the old house at 92 Orchard, which he described as an eyesore would be removed at the end of the month.
“I’m happy to see your dream come to fruition,” Mr. Tesei said, describing Greenwich as a community that supports a multi-cultural society and has a reputation for inclusion. “Your perseverance and dedication to the establishment of a permanent home for your congregation has been long and hard fought cause.”