President’s Post – December 2020

A Six-Month Review

Linda Rubin

Marla Shwarts

As the secular year comes to a close we ponder about what the first six months of our co-presidents’ term means in terms of what has been good for Temple Beth El. Indeed, our time in this position has been a time of learning and doing, of understanding and questioning, and of requesting and appreciating. We find the role of temple lay leadership to be challenging and enriching day to day and sometimes moment to moment. One of the best components of holding this office is being surrounded by a caring team of Board of Directors who are united in benefiting our beloved temple. Our discussions and ultimately our decisions are based upon knowledge that each of us owns and knowledge provided to us by our congregational family members.

We find that what we all do impacts the well-being of our temple and in some ways it is pleasing and in others ways it may have caused some angst among some of our members — not unlike what happens within any family it seems. As we think of our work on the notion of safety and security of our temple, we learned that a poll of our congregants revealed we have an evenly split family on ideas and ways to make it work. We shared all of our information and we listened hard to one another and to our community to make decisions that would be in the best interests of Temple Beth El. Our more recent challenge is perhaps a bit mundane in a sense; it is the fixing of our elevator. This is a big expense and with the generosity of a few of our members who specifically donated to a fund to fix the elevator and with a huge amount of gratitude to Gale Swartz and Andrea Lawrence we were able to develop an elevator repair budget that would not negatively impact our temple budget. We know the elevator is the entrée to learning in our temple for those who value its opportunity to access our entire facility, never withholding the ability of all people to enter our space with ease, comfort, and safety, a wonderful example of our audacious hospitality.

We acknowledge with awe the work being done to address the quarantine restrictions as we strive to maintain our spiritual home and yet provide the Jewish and communal nourishment we all crave. The program opportunities and the responsiveness of our “tech team” to our members and beyond have enabled our temple family to continue to participate in all things Jewish — rituals, tikkun olam, social action activities, personal and communal prayer, fun fundraising, caring for one another in times of grief and celebration, and connecting ever so much with our blessed clergy, Rabbi Cassi and Cantor Ilan.

It is our sacred obligation to continue our work as we end and begin the secular New Year with a steadfast determination to always do what is best for Temple Beth El. We thank each and every one of you for your commitment to our wonderful temple family.