Keeping Connected with our President
June 2020 Keeping Connected
Well, the governor has given the green light to open up places of worship, but we are going to take things slowly at Congregation Shalom. Rabbi Perry, members of our community, and I have been attending some webinars offered by different groups on re-opening of places of worship. These webinars have been offered by the Union for Reform Judaism, the Synagogue Council of Massachusetts, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis. We are trying to gather as much information as possible and be as informed as possible on this very complicated issue of opening up our building.
The temple has basically been closed since March 13 with limited access by a few employees. In general, we will continue with this structure until further notice. We have now relaxed our rules to allow contractors and members in the building for purposes of performing building maintenance or infrastructure-related projects. However, I do need to know when these visits will be happening beforehand so I can ensure we are not overlapping too many people at any one time.
We have performed the following steps just within the last week: More
May 2020 Keeping Connected
It has been a crazy, complicated month. Sometimes it feels like every day is the same and it is hard to remember what day of the week it is. But, with everything going on, we have been working together to ensure our temple remains a significant part of our lives, whether it be through the virtual services, the story times, the caring group, committee meetings, and congregational meetings. We had a record 91 people at the Special Meeting on April 19!! That clearly demonstrates the importance of Congregation Shalom to this community.
I want this newsletter article to deliver some happy news, for a change. It is always a happy time when we can recognize our Congregants of the Year. This year, the awards are going to Larry Cohen and Cory Myers. I cannot think of two more deserving people and I have had the personal opportunity to work with each of these individuals. Both are extremely passionate about the work they do for our temple, Larry with the House Committee and Cory with the Finance Committee. We will hear more about their accomplishments when we are together to celebrate these awards. We normally would celebrate the Congregants of the Year at our Installation Shabbat in mid-June. Although there are no definite plans yet, it is unlikely we will be ready to convene in mid-June. We are currently planning to celebrate these awards during our High Holidays when we are hopefully all back together, something else that will also be worth celebrating. In the meantime, I strongly encourage you to please reach out and congratulate Larry (email@example.com) and Cory (firstname.lastname@example.org)!
Don’t forget to mark your calendar for Annual Meeting on June 9, 6:30 PM. More information will be coming soon.
April 2020 Keeping Connected
Last month when I was writing my column, I never expected such a big change in the world in just one month. I hope you are adjusting to the new normal; I hope this will be over in a relatively quick period of time; and I certainly hope we all stay well. Rabbi Perry has been working so diligently to find ways to keep us connected, albeit virtually. In just a short time, we have been able to virtually attend Shabbat services, a Havdalah service, Torah study, and Adult Hebrew classes. Our kids, including our teens, are able to stay connected to our community with on-line learning, Rabbi Perry is bringing story time to all of us (young and old), and parents of our school-age children will soon be able to “hang out” on Sundays mornings. Board and committee meetings are still happening; we are already planning for FY21 and getting the budget ready for Annual Meeting. I suggest we do not stop conducting temple business and we continue to hold our committee virtual meetings; it is still a way of connecting and is actually a good distraction. I have even had some virtual “coffee” dates with some of my friends. Maybe it is time to make these “happy hours”.
If you are looking for good TV programs, here are some of my current favorites.
- Shtisel (Netflix)
- Anne with an E (Netflix)
- Better Things (FX)
- The Crown (Netflix)
- Grace and Frankie (Netflix)
- Offspring (Netflix)
- Srugim (Amazon)
It is important we stay connected in whatever way we can and help each other get through this crisis. Please let me know if you have any ideas or if you need to chat.
Please stay well.
Keeping Connected March 2020
Well, we are almost through the winter. Fingers crossed for an easy finale to winter. Wanted to let you know that we are making progress on our kitchen updates.
- To date, we have raised about $4800 toward this project.
- About 3 weeks ago, a group of members came in on a Thursday morning and cleaned our attic space and kitchen of unnecessary items, most of which we were able to dispose of. A special thank you to Larry Cohen, Mitch Hyatt, Gerry Miller, Sandy Moore, Joanna Myers, Judy & Scott Reiter, Laura Rodman, and Bob & Pat Schneider for your time!
Keeping Connected February 2020
It’s been a while since I have discussed security. You heard a lot about it at the beginning of this year, around the high holidays. I want everyone to be aware that we are still actively working on ensuring the safety of our community and that it did not end at the high holidays. Two significant activities that are in process are as follows:
- We have established a procedure for Security Greeters for our Shabbat services on Friday evenings and Saturday mornings. This procedure has been approved by the board and the security committee is now hosting 2 training sessions on these procedures, on February 2 from 1-2 pm and on March 12 from 7-8 pm. I hope you will consider attending one of these sessions. It is truly important that we all understand the balance between being welcoming and ensuring a safe community. More
Keeping Connected January 2020
I want to thank everyone who contributed to our kitchen update project over the last month. So far, we have raised about $2500. There will be more opportunities to contribute through the new year as well. I am really excited about the possibility of obtaining new appliances and improving the overall usability of our kitchen. There are so many people who will benefit from this, including our school, Shalomites, Sisterhood, Brotherhood, and those members who rent our building for celebrations of life cycle events.
In addition to the kitchen, we are looking to improve the look of the sanctuary and social hall. We are in the process of obtaining quotes for painting and new carpeting. We will be working closely with the House Committee, Beautification Committee, and Mishkan Advisory Group to ensure our sanctuary is maintained as a sacred space with these changes.
At the beginning of February, we are going to dedicate an afternoon to deep cleaning the kitchen. We are in the process of selecting a date for this. If you are interested in helping, please let me know.
I want our building to be a place we are proud to be a part of and although our community provides me (and I am sure you as well) with the highest level of satisfaction, our building does need some cosmetic improvements. It will not all happen at once but I truly hope we can find a way to start the process.
I want to wish you a Happy New Year and lots of health & happiness in 2020!