5783 Message from Alan Kronovet, Temple Beth El President

Chag Sameach. My name is Alan Kronovet and I have the honor and privilege of being the President of Temple Beth El.   My wife, Cary, and I are those rare people that you heard rumors about but didn’t really think existed. Yes, we both grew up in Charlotte and raised our family here. But to be completely honest though – I never expected to be standing here as Temple President.   I remember when my involvement with the Temple changed. It was in one of my first encounters with Rabbi Knight soon after he became our Senior Rabbi. He spoke to a group of empty nesters saying, “the Temple is here for you.”  And, as if he was speaking directly to me, he also challenged us by saying that it was our responsibility to choose to engage with our Judaism and Jewish community. Now, Cary and I have engaged with the Charlotte Jewish community, in one form or another, our entire lives. Most of that engagement was with organizations whose focus is Jewish continuity. The continuity of the Jewish people is very important to us and I am proud of the small role we played in the work of those organizations.    Ultimately, though, I was forced to wrestle with the question – what is Jewish continuity without Judaism?  As I pondered this question, I realized the Temple and the Rabbis couldn’t be Jewish for me. I now had a choice.  Jews are sometimes called “the chosen people.”  In truth, we are the choosing people. Through the generations and at each crossroads our people chose to be Jewish. This choosing started with Abraham and Sarah and continues today as we choose Temple Beth El to observe Rosh Hashanah. This Rosh Hashanah is the first since 2019 where we are together, in person, here in the Blumenthal sanctuary, and the Silverman and Levine Social Halls and it is wonderful to be with everyone.   Because you chose Temple Beth El, I am happy to report that we are a financially stable congregation with an incredible clergy, dedicate staff, and a committed board and volunteers all focused on enhancing our engaged and vibrant community. We have our eyes on the future while being firmly rooted in our Jewish tradition and synagogue’s history.     Temple Beth El offers different ways for each of us to choose Judaism. For some, their Judaism is rooted in the spiritual meaning they find in our worship. Your Judaism takes place in our Shabbat services, in our High Holy Days, and other holiday observances.   Others choose to be Jewish outside of the sanctuary, like making challah and lighting shabbat candles, hanging a mezuzah on your door, eating in a sukkah, reclining at your seder table, or singeing your fingertips on Hannukah candles. These are important rituals that create a Jewish home and the Temple is here for you, to help you enliven those moments.  And if you are in need of support in moments of joy or sorrow, our clergy are here for you.   Temple Beth El is a place to choose to make lasting friendships and build Jewish community, to be connected. You can choose to join a TriBE – as Cary and I have both done. Or join SPICE, or Brotherhood, or The Porch, or LIBERTY – or any of our other groups to build meaningful relationships.   Temple Beth El is a Beit Midrash, a house of learning. You can embrace our Jewish intellectual tradition and go deeper than you did during Religious School to expand your understanding of Judaism and choose to explore the wisdom of generations of Jewish thought.   If Jewish teachings lead you to want to make an impact on our community and the world, then choose to be alongside other members in the work of Tikkun Olam, repairing the challenging world we live in. Temple provides many opportunities to make a real difference, such as our LIBERTY food drive, registering voters, volunteering with Shalom Green or Shalom Park Freedom School, or joining a social justice TriBE.  Each of us has a different Jewish story but we do as generations of Jews before us have done: we chose. I am glad our family choose Temple Beth El and I’m grateful you chose Temple Beth El as your Jewish community.   No matter how you choose to be Jewish or which path you take, Temple Beth El is here for you, to provide you and your family with the support you need for your Jewish journey.   That is the beauty of choosing Temple Beth El. L’ Shanah Tovah.

Other Posts