As I reminisce about my first year as the Chief Operating Officer of Temple Beth El, I’m reminded of a core Jewish value that beautifully shines through our congregation: chesed, or loving-kindness. This guiding principle is interwoven into our community’s fabric, making my first year in this role truly meaningful.
Upon my arrival at Temple Beth El, I was immediately captivated by the congregation’s warmth. After enduring several challenging years, I found that our congregation showed immense joy in reuniting. A memorable moment from last year’s High Holy Days illustrates the power of chesed in action. A newcomer attended Rosh Hashanah services for the first time, and by the end of the day, had received an invitation to join several families to break the fast on Yom Kippur. This genuine act of kindness, free from obligation, exemplifies the generous spirit that makes our community so strong and welcoming.
Chesed is a cornerstone of all our endeavors, from our dedicated staff who work tirelessly to create an inclusive environment to our Board of Directors, whose thoughtful guidance shapes our congregation’s future to all who show up with smiles, hugs, and open hearts.
As we look ahead, it’s essential to recognize the importance of nurturing chesed to unlock the full potential of our Temple Beth El community. By actively practicing loving-kindness, we strengthen the bonds between us, foster a familiar and comfortable atmosphere, and create a shared support network. In other words, as we often say at Temple Beth El, we share life’s “oys and joys.”
In my first year at Temple Beth El, I’ve been humbled by the abundant chesed that permeates our congregation. This loving-kindness binds us together, providing a solid foundation for growth and resilience. By engaging with one another, we co-create a sacred space where every act of kindness and connection helps us to build and improve our own lives, our community, and the world. Together, we are shaping a bright future.
To our entire community, thank you for welcoming me into this incredible congregation and granting me the privilege of serving you in this capacity. As we embark on the next chapter of our journey, let us continue to embrace chesed, fostering a nurturing and vibrant environment for generations to come.