President’s Post – July – August 2017

Leading Jewishly

Eric Imley & Gale Swartz, Co-Presidents

For our very first official article, we would like to thank Marc Kaiser for all of his support of this community and his three years as President. We are eternally grateful for his transparent leadership and selfless service. We hope that two of us can equal one Marc. We are excited that he will continue the tradition of serving as Parliamentarian on the Board of Directors and sage advisor to the Co-Presidents during our term.

We are thrilled to have been chosen as the new TBE Co-Presidents. What does it mean to have co-presidents at a synagogue where that is not the custom? How do we “Lead Jewishly”? We will explore these questions in this and future articles as we learn and grow in this role.

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks has written about the “Seven Principles of Jewish Leadership”. Principle #2 is “No one can lead alone. … We cannot live alone. We cannot lead alone. Leadership is teamsmanship.” As co-presidents, we will be team captains, however, we will need and rely on the entire community to share and participate. There is a lot of work ahead of us and we certainly cannot do it alone.

Please let us take a moment to introduce ourselves. We both live on the Peninsula with our fantastically supportive spouses (Eliot and Tracy, respectively). Eric has two daughters in Torah School and Gale has one 26-year-old daughter at home (born and raised at TBE) and a son in Modesto who completed his Jewish education at TBE through Confirmation.

We are friends who started working together on Kindred SPIRITS many years ago. We believe in collaborative management, have complimentary skill sets, and really enjoy working together for the betterment of TBE. We seek and rely upon diverse perspectives and opinions.

Our vision of co-presidential leadership is straightforward. We will focus on doing the sacred tasks of service with kavanah— intention, strongly steeped in Jewish values, encouraging and facilitating opportunities for tikkun olam—repairing the world. We are committed to fiscal conservatism to ensure the stability of this holy congregation. We support our history of program excellence, diverse opportunities for spirituality, exploration of traditional practices and experimentation with progressive ideas and Jewish expression.

We need your help to make this vision a reality. Please volunteer and contribute to the community in ways that are meaningful to you. There is plenty to do and together we can accomplish many things.