President’s Post – June 2017

Resounding Yes

Marc Kaiser, President

I’m writing this month’s column with a sense of anticipation and melancholy. During our May 31 Annual Congregational Meeting, we elected a slate of candidates who comprise part of our Board of Directors for the upcoming 2017–18 fiscal year. Other Board members began the second year of their respective two-year terms. I’ll be ending my term as President, having served the maximum three years prescribed in our bylaws.

Leading our Board in executive roles are members selected by the newly-elected Board. They’ll be experienced and capable lay leaders, joining the legacy of Board leaders who have guided our community success for more than 90 years. Just as I was humbled by the honor of filling this role three years ago, I’m reflecting now about the progress we’ve made.

Last month I wrote about our evolving mission statement, or statement of purpose. The words convey meaning about who we are and what we intend to be as a Jewish institution serving our community, and delivering our unique blend of spiritual and social benefits. I ended with the question, “Is this the type of sacred community that I want to be part of?”

Please excuse my bias, but my answer continues to be a resounding “yes”. We’re a community that truly cares about each other and enjoys learning together, praying together, growing our families together, and just having fun together. We welcome outsiders with a warm and giving nature and eagerly extend our embrace to those joining our merry band of Jews. We’ve renewed our building, adding to its beauty and grace. We’ve raised significant dollars to fund our renovations and an ongoing endowment.

Yet we continue to work through challenges that face most religious institutions today—aging demographics, lack of commitment to join groups, financial stability, academic pressure, and competing activities for our youth, just to name a few. We’re succeeding or holding the line against the headwinds, managing and overcoming the challenges as best we can. I’m proud to say that our membership has grown this past year.

As you receive your annual commitment packet this month, you’ll have the opportunity, like me, to reflect on the question of being a part of our sacred community. I hope that you’ll answer with a strong and resounding “yes”. Your involvement and financial support bring life to our community and nurture its special place in all of our lives. Your generosity helps us keep the lights kindled. Your personal volunteer efforts and your continuing commitment sustain our vitality for many years to come. Thanks for loving our home and continuing to be the life of Temple Beth El.