Keeping Connected with our President
Keeping Connected March 2019
Our New England weather changes on a seasonal, even daily, basis. Those who live in other places of the world may enjoy a predictable climate. A reliable 70 degrees and sunny might even feel enviable as we slog through winter. But New Englanders generally relish the seasonal changes, finding the changes in weather invigorating and something to look forward to.
In our personal lives, sometimes we seek to maintain a comfortable status quo. Sometimes we feel more daring and seek out new adventures. Sometimes the world imposes on our lives and tells us it’s time to deal with change. We each try to maintain a balance in our lives that feels right between keeping the status quo and growing.
We have been talking about changes lately at Congregation Shalom. In early January we introduced new communications vehicles for our membership. More
Keeping Connected February 2019
This past Sunday I had the pleasure of working with Rich Laider’s third graders. Each year, Moreh Rich plans a Press Conference. The purpose is for the 3rdgraders to understand more about how the temple runs. Temple leadership are invited to come meet with the class. Moreh Rich prepares the students and they come to the press conference with questions in hand. This year he gave me, Rabbi Perry, and our Education Director the questions ahead of time. It was clear that a lot of thought went into their great questions!
Keeping Connected January 2019
The violence at the Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh in late October horrified us all, and left us with some valid concerns about safety. I want to assure you that we are taking steps, under Stephen Rodman’s leadership, to review our security protocols. We have met with a lieutenant from the Chelmsford Police Department to get his professional input. He let us know we are already doing some things well. He made some suggestions we plan to implement, and others we are looking into. I want to let you know that we will send an update to our membership with more specific information on security issues in the next month. More
December 2018 Newsletter Article
In our continuing effort to provide the information you are looking for as efficiently as possible, you will be seeing some changes in temple communications in the very near future. A few months ago, we introduced our new website, with its home page designed to show what we’re all about – highlighting our welcoming spirit, the caring nature of our community, and key events. The website home page also gives our members easy access to information on services, events, and more. This was a major first step in a process whose goal is to provide the information you are looking for as easily as possible.
The next steps have been to consider carefully the role of our Newsletter and our Weekly Updates.
For quite a while the Communications Committee has asked the question, “what is the purpose of the Newsletter?” Much of the content of each Newsletter is already being sent to our membership in other ways. This is the right time for us to make a significant change. The Newsletter is being replaced with a much shorter monthly email. No need to worry. Each piece that is being taken out to create a more manageable monthly email will have a new home. Among the Weekly Updates, event-specific emails, and the new monthly email we will be communicating all the same information to you.
November 2018 Newsletter Article
I realize some of you might be tempted to skip over this column as soon as you realize that I’m writing to ask for volunteers. Wait! Please give me me a chance to say why your reaction shouldn’t be, “Oh no, not again, can’t they ask someone else?”
As you know, we rely on our committees to provide many services which are the lifeblood of our temple. A little over a year ago when I became President, I knew of a number of committees which had open positions and that it would be my job to help fill them. There were volunteers who had moved, were burned out, or were ready to move on to something new – and they needed to be replaced with fresh people who were interested in becoming involved. It was a process of working to find the right people to step in to fill some holes. I’ve been very pleased over these months to have been a part of making progress in these important volunteer areas.
Well, it turns out that looking for volunteers is a never-ending process. Change is the norm. Each volunteer has a limit on how long they want to be in the same position, doing essentially the same thing. We each maintain a balance in our lives between looking for new challenges and wanting to keep to the comfortable status quo. There comes a time for every volunteer when they let us know they’d like to move on. If circumstances permit, most are gracious and offer to stay until someone can replace them, but we must respect their wishes once they’ve let us know..
October 2018 Newsletter Article
First – The membership survey is being sent by email very shortly. It will give each of you an opportunity to tell us what we are doing well, where we can improve, and where to focus our resources in the future. We hope every one of you will fill out the survey.
Next – I’d like to share something personal I spoke about at Rosh Hashanah, when I said I’d realized recently that blueberries are a fantastic metaphor for Judaism!
This hit me a few days after we got back from a trip. Here’s what happened: we got home, I took a few days to get caught up on laundry, etc. and then I looked up the hours for blueberry picking at my favorite farm.
Let me interrupt my story for some background –
During the season, I go to the farm to pick every week. I really love to pick blueberries. I like being outdoors, I like knowing that the berries are local, and I like that I’ve got a connection to them because…I picked each one. I feel entitled to bring home as many as I want because, again, I put in the work. My family never has a problem eating as many as get picked. This was especially true when our kids were home. Years ago, like lots of parents, we’d take the kids to pick apples and blueberries. More