Keeping Connected with our President
March 2021 Keeping Connected
It is important to me to keep everyone informed of what is going on at our synagogue, especially when we cannot be there together. I have a couple of items that we are currently working on and I would be open to your input on these.
First, each year, our temple has a leadership retreat, typically where the board of trustees and committee chairs go off-site for a day and spend some time exploring 1-2 topics that are typically strategic in nature and topics we do not usually have enough time to delve into at our board meetings. We have not yet had the leadership retreat this year but we are going to try and do a remote version in the near future. One topic we may delve into is how things have worked for us this past year in this time of COVID; what do we think worked well, what did not work well, are there things we want to keep the same in the future. As we start to think about re-opening our building and maybe getting back to “normal”, I would love to hear any thoughts you have. More
February 2021 Keeping Connected
I am writing this article after just completing the Grade 3 press conference, where Rich Laider’s Grade 3 students were allowed to ask questions of myself, Rabbi Perry, and Deborah Morrissey. They were an inspiring group and had some great questions like, “What does the President do”?, “Who pays the bills?”, “How long has the temple been around?”, “Who built the temple?”, and one of my favorites, “How do you survive dropping the Torah and not eating for 40 days?” It’s nice that our young kids are pondering on such thoughtful questions. For the answer to the last one, you will have to reach out to Rabbi Perry…
So, there are two important announcements in this month’s Keeping Connected. It is that time of year when we start thinking of who our Congregant(s) of the Year may be. The board cannot make this selection alone and we need you also to provide suggestions. So, if you would like to nominate someone, please privately send a write-up to myself or anyone on the board on who and why this person should receive the award. Think about those important traits and behaviors that are important in this recognition: commitment, selflessness, volunteerism, dedication, duration of time committed, magnitude, impact on the congregation, and creativity. Please get your write-ups in by mid-March.More
January 2021 Keeping Connected
We made it to 2021 and I am optimistic that this will be a year of hope and renewal for many of us. As a congregation, we have persevered and found a way to maintain our sense of community and I am truly hopeful we will be together again at some point this year, and maybe even hug each other, one thing I really miss. So, let me provide an update on some activities going on.
We continue to remain vigilant in making our building a safe place. A few new additions have included the purchase of five indoor air purifiers. These are scheduled to be delivered very soon. These purifiers will allow us to now close the doors to the outside (and stay warm) during school. We also made some other minor safety modifications to our bathrooms, which now allow the exhaust fans in the bathrooms to remain on when we are in the building as well as the addition of toilet seat lids in all stalls; both of these help to reduce the spread of the virus. Right now, our school will remain remote until at least two weeks following the New Year, at which point we will re-evaluate returning to a hybrid approach.More
November 2020 Keeping Connected
Happy November! I cannot believe we just had our first snowfall, hopefully the last for a while. I hope you are all continuing to stay well. As we head into the colder winter months and we are stuck inside our homes more, it is important that we continue to stay connected here at Congregation Shalom. Please do not forget we have weekly Shabbat services, adult story time, and adult Hebrew. Sisterhood has been offering some great virtual events, including cooking, book clubs, and even a paint night! I would love your ideas for more ways we can stay connected this winter and if you are interested in organizing an on-line event or something else, let me know; we can make it happen. More
October 2020 Keeping Connected
Well, I guess I can start with saying what a difference a year makes. Last year, at this time I stood on the bimah and spoke about our two top priorities for the year, our new voluntary pledge system and the security of our building. We made great strides with both. We were successful with the new voluntary pledge system, and were able to bring in close to 100% of what we budgeted last fiscal year but more importantly, we increased our membership by about 25 new families. The addition of new families, new blood into our community is what will sustain us into the future. So far this year we have 5 new families that have joined our community. This is outstanding considering where life has taken us over the last several months.
As far as security, well, we did what we said we would do. And as most of you know, we were recipients of a grant from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Over the past couple of months, a top of the line security system has been getting installed in our building. The installation process has not been easy and there were several glitches along the way but we did it and are currently about 90% complete. It would not feel right if I did not give a shout out to Mitch Hyatt, Larry Cohen, and Tim Miranda for their patience and the pain and suffering they have gone through during this installation. But, we can now feel confident that we have taken the necessary steps to protect our building and our members. Soon, you will all be receiving your new key fobs and please note that the old ones no longer work.More
September 2020 Keeping Connected
This month I want to focus my article on the upcoming recipients of the Congregant of the Year awards. Because of COVID, we have had to delay the celebration of these awards, which usually occurs in June. Back in May and June, we were hopeful to be together on the high holidays so we could celebrate these awards together, but we do not want to prolong the celebration anymore so we will make time during the upcoming holidays to recognize our current award recipients.
At Congregation Shalom, our Congregant of the Year program allows us to recognize members who have gone above and beyond in the amount of time they devote to volunteering in our community and have had an impact, and usually award winners have demonstrated this dedication for more than just the past year. Our policies & procedures asks us to consider the following words/phrases when selecting our Congregant of the Year nominees: Commitment, Selflessness, Volunteerism, Dedication, Duration of Time Committed, Magnitude, Impact on the Congregation, Creativity. Well, I think this year’s Congregant of the Year recipients have touched on those words/phrases in many different ways. More