Keeping Connected with our President
August 2018 Newsletter Article
In today’s fast-paced world, a website that is more than three years old looks dated. The URJ recognized this and decided last year to switch all websites to a more modern platform. This news happily came just a short time after our own Communications Committee recommended to the Board that we update our website. Eileen Hirsch has once again put in the hours needed to design and create our next generation website, and thanks to the URJ and a member’s contribution it’s been done at no financial cost to our temple.
This new website will give a great new face to the world for Congregation Shalom, while continuing to provide all the information that members have come to expect. Prospective members’ first contact with a synagogue is often through a website. Our home page is designed to show what we’re all about – highlighting our welcoming spirit, the caring nature of our community, and key events. The home page also gives our members easy access to information on services, events, URJ articles, and more.More
July 2018 Newsletter Article
June can be a bit overwhelming for many of us. I mean that in a good way.
There is so much to take note of and celebrate this time of year. Many of us have family members graduating from college, high school, or even kindergarten and we stop to commemorate these happy events. Here at the temple we have recently had an adult B’nai Mitzvah service, Chai School graduation, and installation of our new Board. Not too long ago we passed the Torah down to our incoming Kitah Hay class, and Jodi led our children’s choir at our Teacher Appreciation Shabbat. Most weeks from spring through June a son or daughter in our community becomes a bar or bat mitzvah. There is indeed much that we take time to celebrate every year at this time.
Transitions can fall into all kinds of categories. We had a beautiful evening honoring Yael and, though we will miss her immensely, we have already started to forge new bonds with Dale as leader of our school. A number of temple members have stepped up recently to chair committees, often taking over from other temple members who had served in those spots for years. And just recently our membership voted to accept a new set of Bylaws, bringing our top governing document into the 21stcentury.
The point is that all of this represents growth, and that’s a good thing. Those who move on to new things are growing. Those who step into their shoes are growing. We have these sorts of milestones and transitions happening around us all year long. But in the early summer we all tend to stop and take notice a bit more.
June 2018 Newsletter Article
Each year at this time, the president has the honor of announcing who has been named Congregation Shalom’s Congregant of the Year. I am pleased to say that this year Lynne Rothstein is being honored as our Congregant of the Year in recognition of her long history of making volunteerism to our community a central part of her life. She is a person who has made significant contributions to the well-being of our community over many years. A list cannot really articulate the level of passion, love, and commitment she has made in our congregation. She is a past President of Congregation Shalom and has continued to be an all-around “go to” person. More
May 2018 Newsletter Article
As you may know, the Board of Trustees has been working on amending our Bylaws for quite some time. While our current Bylaws were sufficient at the time they were adopted, they are seriously out-of-date and inefficient for the workings of a modern synagogue. Not only is Congregation Shalom a much larger community today, but we operate differently on a day-to-day basis.
In addition, in certain sections our current Bylaws are vague, ambiguous, and internally inconsistent. Oftentimes the Board spends just as much time trying to decipher the Bylaws as it does conducting business under the Bylaws.
The Board did not take this project on lightly. Over the past five years the Board had read and reread the current Bylaws and made more than a dozen iterations of amended Bylaws. Three different committees worked on amending the Bylaws, seeking guidance from our professional and lay leadership and reviewing notes on the deficiencies of the current Bylaws which had been accumulating over the past two decades. The Board argued and debated each section (and often each word), met in several special meetings, and sent the draft document back to the committee on many occasions.More
March 2018 Newsletter Article
Our Board members have been busy lately, focused primarily on how to think strategically about the future and our fiscal responsibilities, along with a self-assessment of our leadership culture and values. Sounds pretty dry, doesn’t it? At times like this, I like to take a look at our temple calendar.
The calendar is so full that you have to be careful to click on all the places it says things like “+5 more” to be sure to see everything. I see 72 entries just for the month of March! (Now I see why it can be hard to get a room for a meeting.) The calendar is color-coded, which helps you zero in easily on what you’re most interested in. In addition to Worship, B’Nai Mitzvah rehearsals, and School, I spot six blocks in gold (Shalomites), four teal (Adult Ed), and four each in pink and blue(Sisterhood and Brotherhood, respectively).
February 2018 Newsletter Article
What would you say is at the heart of a synagogue? The rabbi? The sanctuary? Our children? Our volunteers?
These are all great answers. But here’s one more – the kitchen!
We all know that food is central to our practice of Judaism. It is true in our homes, with latkes at Chanukah and matzoh ball soup at our Seders. And it is certainly true within the walls of our temple building. There are many examples…Nearly every Friday evening we offer an Oneg where we share food and socialize with others who have come to Shabbat services. We hold a Second Seder each year for the community, Brotherhood makes latkes for the school children, and Sisterhood traditionally holds a dinner to kick off each new year. In fact, I’d say that most events and meetings I attend involve snacks. We rely on having a functioning kitchen for all of this. More