Wisdom of Yiddish and Barack Obama
Eric Imley & Gale Swartz, Co-Presidents
Most everyone has heard the old Yiddish saying, “Man plans and God laughs.” This has certainly applied to our first year as co-presidents! We had a plan of what we wanted to get done and had started on details to set things rolling even before accepting the co-presidency. Shortly thereafter, we had outlined the themes for the ﬁrst year of our Kol Beit El messages! This very article was going to focus on the progress we had made within our desired areas of focus, leadership development, member outreach, and social action initiatives. We would have discussed the ways they would continue to progress over the next two years. We were going to point out some incremental accomplishments and thank all of the people who helped so much throughout the year. But alas, man plans and God laughs.
This year for us, as well as the entire congregation, has been centered around transitions, not only of our beloved rabbi and educator, but also for us personally, as we became TBE Co-Presidents. We knew intuitively that relationships were key to our success and knew that some people would agree with us, and some may not. Through all of this, we are grateful for the love and support of the entire community as we struggled to get our arms around the many challenges facing us. Former President Barack Obama was quoted in the New York Times, which resonated with us, “I always felt that a president is accountable for making the best decisions, but that there are going to be a lot of unexpected twists and turns along the way.” (New York Times, March 7, 2009) This certainly has been true for TBE this year. In response, we put out the call for help and you have answered. We had to make many decisions and all of them have been made with respect and in collaboration with committees of many of you and by group consensus.
In this ﬁnal article of our ﬁrst year, we thank you for your patience and understanding as we encounter new challenges in this next year. You can be assured that our intentions are never to upset anyone, but rather take the most prudent actions possible. We all can agree that we want TBE to continue to be that place we go for a warm embrace, a place of peace and friendship, and where we can reﬂect as individuals and as a sacred community. When we and other leaders of our community call on you, we hope you will answer with an enthusiastic “yes!” Together, we can continue to accomplish many great things for our entire TBE family.