President’s Post – March 2021

From Inspiration Comes Action

Linda Rubin

Marla Shwarts

During these challenging times — how often we have written these words and thought about them in the most personal and communal ways? It occurs to us that the challenges have been exacerbated by the pandemic, the quarantine, the intense illnesses, and unfortunately untimely deaths of loved ones and friends. Even now after a year’s time, the tension remains real as we begin to revel in potential vaccines for everyone, a return to work, re-engaging with our families and friends, and a return to the formal education of our children, our youngest Jews.

So often we have wanted to throw caution to the wind and gather in person for our Shabbat time together or to make Shabbat even more special by attending a meditation service, a Havdalah service, a healing service, or a service walking the trails around the peninsula. We simply have wanted to be in person with one another beyond the screens on Zoom. Our desire for these kinds of communal-in-person events remains significant to each of us as do our desires for “this thing to be over and to feel safe again.”

Back in January we asked you what inspired you here at Temple Beth El. We knew you truly appreciated all the amazing programming offered here and you very much enjoy the creative and inclusive services and worship opportunities led by Rabbi Cassi and Cantor Ilan. And now with this in mind it is the time for us to update you on a couple of items that we think will continue to inspire you with an eye to when we unlock our doors and we will be able to come together in person.

Let us begin. The contract for fixing the elevator has been signed and the process has begun, no easy task here for surely the time line has not necessarily been our friend. Your Board of Directors want very much to remain on budget with the monies that have been (and still are being) donated for this major expense. It will be a huge task that will require the expertise of an on-site supervisor as well as a crew that will abide by the appropriate guidelines necessary to make this project succeed and last. The goal is to have the elevator in working condition by the time we fully return to the temple.

You will be pleased to note that a second federal PPP loan for small businesses has been granted to us so that we have been able to keep all of our staff fully employed making sure the temple continues to stand the test of time with updates and work being done to maintain our beautiful spiritual home.

The lovely and poignant TBE Tree of Life has been rehung so that we can begin to gaze upon it with loving affection and continue to add leaves of memory and recognition to it when we return.

The Re-opening Task Force continues to remain aware of the health and legal requirements for safely opening our temple. A new task force is starting to dream and develop models of how we may very well open our doors to commence worship practices. Nothing is being left for the last minute as you can see. As we make more progress, we will update you with the information.

We trust you have been inspired by the actions of your clergy and your Board of Directors to continue to do what is best for Temple Beth El in these challenging times as we eventually come together again.