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Shabbat and Chaggim move to Fischer Hall

Beginning on Friday, August 3, 2018, all of the DAT Minyan's Shabbat and Chaggim davening will be in Fischer Hall at BMH-BJ (560 S. Monaco Parkway). All weekday Shacharit and Mincha/Maariv will continue to be at the Denver Academy of Torah. 

Message from Mark Raphaely

July 24, 2018

On Saturday morning I spoke in shul about our upcoming move to Fisher Hall for Shabbat and Chaggim. For those of you who may have missed it, I wanted to share my remarks by email as well.
 
Let me first acknowledge the obvious: while there are certainly members who live south of Alameda, who will benefit from a shorter walk to shul, many of us will now have a much longer walk. It’s not ideal, and I recognize that it poses a real inconvenience to many of you. 
 
There are, of course, benefits to the move as well, but before I highlight those, I need to make an admission and an apology. In the weeks since discovering that the multipurpose room was not going to be a viable location for our minyan on Shabbat and Yomtov, I have been consumed by the logistics of this move. There are countless moving parts, and a core group of people, most of them volunteers, who’ve been working hard to bed them down. Amid this chaos, I’ve come to realize that my communication to the community has been lacking. I haven’t withheld any information intentionally, but I acknowledge that I should have been more forthcoming, and so I’m making myself available – either by phone call or email – to answer any questions that our members may have. My details are in the shul’s online directory.
 
We have an agreement with the leadership at BMH-BJ to rent Fisher Hall - and some classrooms - on Shabbat and chaggim for a period of 1 year, with the option to renew that lease. We also have the option to terminate the lease after 6 months. But, will only do so if the leadership of the school and the shul feel that it’s in the best interests of both institutions.
 
On countless Shabbatot, over the last few years, we’ve probably all walked into the multipurpose room – arriving at shul a little later than we should – and struggled to find a seat. As one who has sat in shuls in both South Africa and New York that are barely 20% full, I can assure you that ours is one of the best problems to have. For the past 10 years this community has been a magnate for young Jewish families from across the country and around the world, and as a consequence, the multipurpose room is no longer a comfortable space for us. Frankly, it’s no longer a safe place for us either.
 
The benefits of moving are manifold; Chief among them is the fact that over 70% of respondents said, in a survey conducted last year, that they would favor a temporary move to Fisher Hall while we build the shul that will become our permanent home.
 
We all care deeply about the Denver Academy of Torah, and recognize how critical it is as a cornerstone of our community. Our impact on the DAT campus has been significant, and at a time when the school is undergoing an important transition, it's building will benefit tremendously from a rest on Shabbat. By giving it that rest, we will, in a sense, be following one of Hashem’s commandments! 
 
Children, who play such a critical role at the DAT Minyan, will enjoy an entirely improved experience once we move to Fisher Hall. In addition to the classrooms and groups, which will continue in much the same way as they do currently, we’ll be able to accommodate kids in the main minyan, as we never have before. Rabbi Friedman spoke so powerfully a few weeks ago about the impact this can have on a child’s Judaic journey and I, for one, am incredibly excited to see parents and children sitting, davening and growing together in comfortable shul environment.
 
Another exciting development is that we’ll finally have the use of a kosher kitchen to prepare beautiful kidusshes, instead of the cramped quarters of the teacher’s lounge. If you’ve ever spent time in that room, you have a sense of how difficult it is to put on the spread that we enjoy every week!
 
In Fisher Hall we’ll be able to prepare and store food for Kiddush and Seudah Shlishit, making both more delicious and more enjoyable.
 
Additionally, and this is something I’m very excited about, we’ll finally be able to host community Shabbat dinners - perhaps with nationally renowned scholars in residence - and have the space to welcome guests from all around Denver. We’ve desired this so deeply over the years, and have never been able to satisfy that need. To sit amongst our friends and family and sing with pride, and in truth: HINEI MA TOV UMANAYIM; SHEVET ACHIM GAM YACHAD! How good and how delightful it is for brothers and sisters to sit together in unity!
 
Change is hard. Of that there is no doubt. But that’s how one makes progress towards a once-distant goal. 
 
Just ask Graeme Bean and Andy Kark, who 17 years ago called a meeting to discuss the viability forming a new minyan on the DAT campus. Ask any of the 13 people who were there that night if they knew for a fact that the DAT Minyan would succeed.
 
In the face of uncertainty, there are typically 2 paths forward: One paved with hesitation, isolation and trepidation; and one paved with confidence, cohesiveness and calm.
 
I have no doubt that when the founding fathers and mothers of the DAT Minyan arrived at that pivotal fork in the road, they charted a course forward with power, with purpose and with poise, and I would implore us all to follow their lead. 
 
Lets unite behind our common cause, and provide strength to one another.
 
We are closer than we have ever been to acquiring our own piece of land on the Glassman Campus. When we look back a few years from now, this time spent in Fisher Hall will, be seen as a critical step in the evolution of our shul. A stepping-stone towards realizing our dream: A brand new building of our very own. How we handle this important step may well define us for decades to come. Lets make ourselves proud. More importantly though, lets make our children and their children proud, as we advance – 
 

Forward together - Kadimah beyachad 
Mark Raphaely, President
DAT Minyan

Tue, December 18 2018 10 Tevet 5779