President’s Post – February 2019

The Second Half

Eric Imley & Gale Swartz, Co-Presidents

If recent history is any guide when you read this, we will be just over halfway done with our presidency. Don’t get us wrong; the board has to re-appoint us and we have to be willing to be presidents for another year when the decision is made in June. Neither are certainties but, as we mentioned, recent history would tend to lead us to that scenario occurring. For the sake of this article, we will assume we are halfway through our presidency.

So what do we want to do as Presidents over the next 18 months, you ask? Well if we have any control over it we would really like to focus on three things. First, get our new rabbi settled and be as supportive to her as possible. We have done our best to be supportive with the two rabbis we have served with and trying to successfully do our part as lay leaders of TBE. The first year is one of openness, we will be open to our new rabbi about our traditions, and we will also be open to her guidance about how we will continue to prosper as we move towards our 100 year anniversary.

Second, we hope to work over the next 18 months to complete the $125,000 campaign for a new director of membership. This is something we are going to need the entire community to help with but is essential to our long-term success. Growing membership is a task that sits in many people’s portfolios: clergy, lay leaders, administrative staff, and congregants all share in the responsibility for making sure that unaffiliated Jews and others who might be interested feel that Temple Beth El is a warm and welcoming place. That being said, bringing in a professional whose sole responsibility is growth relieves some of the stress by organizing events and campaigns for us to focus our energy on in this regard.

Finally, focusing on future lay leadership. Part of the final term of our presidency will be spent forming the nominating committee that will pick our successor(s). We will be working hard in the coming months on a leadership program that will help train the future leaders of our congregation and maybe even the next president. We hope to announce a series of classes in the spring that will be tailored to helping the next generations of TBE leaders make sure they have the tools they need to succeed and also form the bonds of friendship that we have learned are so important when facing tough leadership decisions for our sacred community.