President’s Message – Thank you!
As my term draws to a close as the 27th President of Congregation Rodef Sholom, I want to say Thank You to you, the congregation, for the honor of representing you and leading our sacred community. When I say “honor” it has never been lost on me how important the work is that our synagogue does for our congregation and community. Whether it is educating our children, celebrating Shabbat, visiting the sick, consoling the bereaved, celebrating a simcha, or providing lifelong learning, all of this work takes the time, talent and resources of us all, and I am grateful to be able to say that we came through for one another in a big way.
Last year, the board set long-term goals of updating our Strategic Vision and finding ways to increase the number of congregants engaging with the synagogue. Toward that end, we have begun our Strategic Visioning process with Cindy Ostroff leading our effort. We are well underway to forming our leadership team for this effort and will be having 20 house meetings in the fall. Key to this visioning process will be your active participation; I hope you will make attending one of these meetings a priority so that you can help shape our future.
The board also set many short-term goals for the year including updating our bylaws, conducting a financial audit and increasing our fundraising so that we can support the many programs and services upon which our congregants rely. We are in the final stages of editing the bylaws and will be submitting them to you for a vote when those changes are completed. We have completed updates to our accounting books to bring them into compliance with GAAP Standards (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) and will soon be able to have an audit for the first time in many years. And, thanks to your generosity and commitment, we have received gifts to help underwrite music, scholars in residence, Shabbat dinners, adult education and more.
Our clergy lead us with their hearts and souls and work tirelessly to lift our holy community. Our incredible staff, led by our Executive Director Michael Kamler, builds daily the foundation upon which all our work stands. I offer my heartfelt thanks to each of you for making the last two years so powerful and constructive. You are our angels; getting everything done and making it look easy.
I have been truly blessed to work with a talented board of directors, all of whom are dedicated to our synagogue. Join me in thanking retiring board members Mary DeMay, Marci Dollinger, Vivien Braly, Farron Brotman, and Ronna Voorsanger and extending thanks to all those who will continue serving in the coming year. Special thanks to my Executive Committee (Bruce Gribens, Elizabeth Share, Susan Barnes, Jay Bellin, and Joe Spero).
I am happy to report that at our June Board meeting we announced the election of four new board members: Laurie Kimball, Marty Konopken, Alan Baer and Jeanette Kadesh. In addition, the board elected the following officers for next year:
President: Bruce Gribens
1st VP: Elizabeth Share
2nd VP: Susan Barnes
Secretary: Morris Flaum
Treasurer: Ethan Shulman
Again, my thanks to all for the honor of serving and for your incredible support. Ours is an amazing community. Thank you for caring so beautifully for our congregation, our community and one another.
Marc Press, President
Board of Directors