Keeping Connected with our President
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
August 2020 Keeping Connected
Hope you are staying cool. As I write this article it is in the high 90s and I am glad to be in my air-conditioned house. It’s hard to believe it is already August. The temple has been extremely busy, I think busier than other years, even though we are still closed. There are a lot of activities and planning happening and I want to be sure you are aware of goings-on.
- As you know, the request for your pledge has been sent out. I ask that you return the pledge form as soon as possible as it helps us determine what our financial health will look like this coming fiscal year. It is also the form we need back showing that you are continuing to be a member.
- Rabbi Perry has established a task force to help her prepare for the high holidays. Knowing that our celebration and prayer services will look very different this year requires a tremendous amount of work, creativity, and technical abilities to ensure our high holy days are just as meaningful as they always are. This task force is very hard at work.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Cory (email@example.com)!
Don’t forget to mark your calendar for Annual Meeting on June 9, 6:30 PM. More information will be coming soon.