Looking Back at 2017

January 2018 Newsletter Article

As I am writing this 2017 is rapidly coming to a close, and it’s been a busy end of the year for me. I attended the URJ Biennial earlier this month and came away eager to share the new ideas I was exposed to with others in leadership at our temple. Equally fascinating was to talk with our other temple leaders who attended and learn what they took from their Biennial experience. It is important (and reassuring) to remember that we at Congregation Shalom are part of a much larger Reform Jewish movement in North America. The URJ provides resources to us that we can always turn to for guidance. Of course, we are not just like every other Reform synagogue in America, and we always keep in mind what makes us unique and special even as we might draw on the knowledge and experience of others. I find the deep-seated values at the center of Congregation Shalom set us apart from some other temple communities, and our leadership challenge is to respect those values while leading into the future.

The end of December has kept me busy with friends and family. How wonderful it is to have my adult children come home, and to make new memories with my family and close friends. We follow the standard Jewish custom of going to the movies and getting Chinese food on Christmas day…I have to say that I got a welcome reinforcement of my role as your president from my fortune cookie: “Executive ability is prominent in your make up.” Funny how some fortunes come at just the right time!

I wish you a healthy, happy, and peaceful 2018.