Each month we are recognizing a phenomenal volunteer whose contributions greatly enhance the Temple Beth El community. May’s volunteer of the month is someone who not only enhances our community but also inspires us individually to be more compassionate, thoughtful and open-minded people. I am most certainly a better person for knowing her. Susan Brooks is someone who leads with her heart, and is always quick to stand up when she can be of help.
Susan serves as the social action chair. She has been active on the Open Tent committee and has helped us bring speakers to our community such as Pastor Cue and Marra Gad. She has inspired important and timely discussions about race and has shed light on just how diverse the Jewish community is. She helped establish the Saturday Lunch Project to feed people who are unhoused and has organized countless drives to help those in need.
A year ago, Susan encouraged our temple leadership to apply for a grant to bring Resetting the Table here. Her vision was to create a safe space in which a diverse group of people could have nuanced and respectful discussions about topics that matter. Susan worked with me side by side to bring Resetting the Table to our community, and twenty-two participants were able to benefit from it. We hope to bring some additional Resetting the Table opportunities to our community in the future so that more people can benefit from them.
Recently, Susan began to lead our community in a new initiative: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion work. She is facilitating a diverse and insightful group of volunteers through a thoughtful analysis of the ways in which our congregation is incredibly welcome and inclusive, and the work we can do to ensure that people of every background, color, gender, sexual orientation, age, socioeconomic status, abilities, and talents feel fully embraced in our community. Susan’s leadership has been exemplary thus far, and she is certainly more than deserving of being May’s volunteer of the month.
If you would like to nominate someone as Volunteer of the Month, please reach out to Carrie Jacobs. Thank you so much!