Keeping Connected with our President
JUNE 2021 KEEPING CONNECTED
Well, it is June, summer is coming, the numbers are down, the temple is slowly re-opening, Annual Meeting is in another week, and our reunion is in a few more weeks, all good things.
This month, I have the privilege of announcing our Congregant of the Year, Stephen Rodman. I do not necessarily know where to begin, but I can tell you that Stephen is one of the most selfless, humble, patient, and kindest people I have encountered. We all know that Stephen dedicated four years of his life as our temple president, he has since continued to be a mentor for the presidents that followed, and he continues to be an important resource for our lay and professional leadership team. I hope you will be able to attend our reunion on June 19 where we will highlight the many contributions provided by Stephen through the years.
As you saw in my recent e-mail, we are beginning to re-open our temple building. On June 25, we will be having our first in-person Shabbat service. I think it will feel almost surreal to be back in the sanctuary and I am looking forward to that feeling…I certainly hope you can attend.
I’m looking forward to catching up with many of you on June 19 at our reunion. There will be details coming soon on the food…
Please stay well.
May 2021 Keeping Connected
Happy Spring!! It’s nice to finally have some nicer weather and also some new hope for the upcoming year. As you can imagine, we have been discussing what’s next for Congregation Shalom. We will be taking things one step at a time and not rushing into anything as far as the re-opening of the building. The Phased Reopening Committee is meeting more frequently now in order to keep up with the latest metrics and building use for current life cycle events. Our building is in good shape as far as being a safe place due to the updates we made throughout this past year (e.g., changing HVAC filters, purchasing of indoor air purifiers, etc.).
Similar to many of you, I am ready to see my friends at Congregation Shalom (and not on Zoom). It is time for that to happen in a safe way. I am working with Staci Landress and Tina Kempner to plan an outdoor event where we can safely congregate, see each other, and re-connect. More
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