Lazy August Days at TBE
Are there lazy summer days here at TBE? Not a chance. Our community, our clergy, our staff, and our lay leadership don’t rest for even a moment. We are involved as ever with important tasks on behalf of our spiritual home. The pandemic and ultimate quarantine (and now the lifting of the quarantine) keep us aware and ever so responsible. The last sixteen months have been monumental as we endeavored to make sure everyone was accounted for and everyone was assured complete access to our programs and our clergy. The decisions regarding programming were intense and surely we made accommodations and tripped along the way, but our mission remained strong – we would do everything possible to make all that we can accessible, warm, beautiful and reflective of our best selves, the TBE way.
You all have experienced our year plus of technology (glitches and achievements) and fortunately your Board of Directors has elected to continue access for everyone whether in person or at home (virtually) as we move forward. Your Reopening Task Force remains focused and relevant as we make our way to assure the health and welfare of our community. Everything matters – physical presence in our beloved temple, cautious parameters regarding social distancing, food and drink, singing, music and more – all of these issues are moving targets and remain a dynamic piece of the work being done by this caring group of TBE folks who are committed to remaining in line with the medical and science fields.
As we move closer to more in person opportunities we keep in mind our mission to provide and maintain security at our temple. Everyone is so aware of the increase in anti-Semitic attacks on Jewish places of worship. This community has the expectation that there will be a professional security presence at events as shared in our community survey. Various upgrades to our facility have been made as well as the decision to have paid security at all TBE events. High Holy Days are in just one month so the planning is taking place even before we write this August edition of the temple newsletter. Plans are being made to develop a meaningful and responsive schedule of religious experiences sensitive to the needs of all as music is being selected, sermons are being written, logistics are being discussed regarding prayer books and other needs of the congregation, AND plans on how to properly reopen AND plans for the 2022 year of celebrating TBE’s 100th birthday AND – you all get the point – there is no rest during this precious month of August.
With all that is going on, it is important to share gratitude for everyone in our community who continues to be so very supportive and so willing to be participatory on our journey to provide for one another and to enjoy the results of our work. To quote Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, “Just to be is a blessing. Just to live is holy.” Indeed we are a blessing and we work in holiness for our temple future.