It has been three years since we have been able to be together for High Holy Days, and I am so excited and thankful that we will be gathering as a community to observe this year.
On behalf of the Temple Beth El Board of Directors, I want to welcome you for the High Holy Days and thank you for your support during these last three years. I also want to thank Rabbi Knight, Cantor Thomas, Rabbi Nichols, Rabbi Erdheim, our choirs, Jonathan Friedman, the entire professional team, and the many others who are working tirelessly in preparing for our return, creating a meaningful month of Elul, and guiding us through this season of reflection and renewal which culminates in a few weeks with Simchat Torah.
As Temple Beth El’s President, I am so inspired by you, our members. Your support of the synagogue and your enthusiasm to reengage with our community is heartening. In coming together to form our wonderful congregation, you bring meaning and purpose to the work of the Board, the Clergy, the Professional team, and me.
We have an incredible and dedicated Board of Directors, and I am honored to work with each and every one. They love TBE, they work hard on our behalf, and they are totally focused on leading us into the future. I invite you to join us at any Board meeting, which is held monthly on the first Tuesday, so you can see their commitment for yourself.
It is also abundantly clear that the foundation of our congregation is strong. This is due, in part, to the commitment of our past presidents and the directors who served with them. The other day I was Board Room waiting for Torah Study to begin and I took a moment to look at the pictures of our past presidents. It is an amazing group of men and women whose dedication to our Temple knew no bounds. 22 of those past presidents are still alive, and their collective wisdom continues to guide us as we plan for the future.
As I noted earlier, this is the first time since 2019 that we have gathered as a congregation to observe the High Holy Days. I am proud of how Temple Beth El met the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and there are so many people from the professional staff, clergy team, and membership to thank for all they did to keep us engaged, connected, and afloat. However, there are five people I want to want to recognize for their leadership, creativity, hard work, and sheer determination, which were essential to ensuring we were able to land on our feet. Liam Stokes, our Treasurer, and Mark Risco, our Controller, made sure that we remained financially viable, were excellent stewards of our financial resources, and thoughtful in their financial planning. Ben Benson, my predecessor as the Temple President, and Rabbi Knight worked closely and tirelessly to make sure that Temple Beth El was ever present in our lives and that our resources were available to all of us during the isolation of 2020 and 2021. Finally, Dan Shane deserves special recognition. Dan volunteered to take on the role of interim Executive Director and provided outstanding leadership and dedication through challenging and uncertain times. These five leaders, along with many others who have supported and advanced our mission for the last three years, are the reason why Temple Beth El emerged from the pandemic in a stable position, energized, and ready to reimagine our future.
As a synagogue, we are grateful for all those that played a part to lead us through COVID-19 and are forever in your debt.
I look forward to greeting you at services over the High Holy Days and being together once again.
L’ Shanah Tovah,
President, Temple Beth El Board of Directors