Heather Blank and her husband paid to have their faces in the stands at Truist Park for Braves games this season. The concept inspired her to initiate a similar fundraiser at Congregation Or Hadash.“We call it ‘Punim in the Pew’ and so far we have had 60 congregants purchase photo cutouts of their own heads, which we will attach to the chairs in the sanctuary for the high holidays,” Blank told the AJT.
“It’s a fun way for members to be in ‘the room where it happens’ and to give Rabbi Lauren Henderson familiar faces to keep her company as she leads our community.”
“We are charging $36 a punim.” The profits, over $1,100, benefit the Sandy Springs Community Assistance Center as Or Hadash’s high holidays tikkun olam project.
On Aug. 16, congregants who were concerned about uploading a photo had the opportunity to have their “punim picture” taken at a social distance outside Or Hadash, Blank said.
Meanwhile, Or Hadash has improved its streaming production quality by purchasing new cameras for the sanctuary and partnering with LiveControl, which will manage the two cameras remotely. High holiday services will incorporate pre-recorded elements, such as a congregational song montage of ‘Avinu Malkeinu,’ the annual youth production of the Book of Jonah, and thoughts from congregants, as well as the live view of the sanctuary, featuring the punims.
“The response from the congregation has been extremely positive,” Blank said.