President’s Post – August 2020

We’re All in this Together

Linda Rubin and Marla Shwarts, Co-Presidents

We are encouraged by the partnerships within Temple Beth El. Our congregants, our clergy, and our staff are the souls of the successes of our beloved spiritual home. Together we are able to achieve more than what we could ever do individually. We align ourselves with some basic principles of mutual trust and support and we are enriched by our cherished community traditions all the while responding appropriately to what is healthiest for all of us.

During this unique time of this pandemic we are reminded that we all have needed to grieve first about what we have lost and how to process the changes that will occur in our High Holy Day services. We are missing the hugs and smooches from our TBE family. We have shared our sadness about what has been and how we have been challenged to move forward with perhaps more new and different ideas so that we can all continue to call Temple Beth El our home away from home. Our congregation needs to be nimble as we as we maneuver these uncharted waters. We have no road map except what each of us shares in expertise, in preferences, and in our dreams for our beloved temple.

We are learning that humility and graciousness are essential to our leadership as we make decisions on behalf of our community. And along with these notions, we realize that literally everything right now is fluid and a bit messy in a way. All ideas are valid and respected and we are mindful that we all need to be as flexible as necessary to do what is best for our temple.

We agree that this is holy work that is based upon the partnerships of us all. We are building trust as we plan for High Holy Days and even as we build in the necessary actions to keep us financially afloat during these rough times and throughout the year. Perhaps our High Holy Days will take on a new meaning for some of us, perhaps they will be a time of reinforcement for what is holy and Jewish, or perhaps they will be something yet to be determined. Each of us exists in our own lane as we traverse the highways of life, but what is truly important is that we all are headed to the same destination—how to best worship this coming High Holy Day season. We really do have a shared vision, our direction is clear and gratitude is paramount.

We all know we want holidays that are meaningful to our experience, we want to connect with people, and we want to practice t’shuvah. What will be different this year will be the strategies we use to attain these goals. We don’t have all the answers right now, but we do have a most talented clergy, a most caring lay leadership, an invested congregation, and a responsible staff.

Together, Temple Beth El continues to be for a blessing.