Rodef Sholom: A Reform Jewish Congregation in Marin County, California

Kol Yisrael arevim ba’zeh/All Jews are responsible for one another.
Congregation Rodef Sholom stands as one with Israel
Tags >> Board of Directors

Being a member of the board of directors involves a great commitment to our synagogue community.   In a “big picture” way, we are devoted to strategic work that helps us fulfill our vision of creating and sustaining a Jewish community for ourselves and for future generations.  Our goal is to ensure that our kehilla kedosha – our holy community – is always a sanctuary of Tefillah (prayer), Torah (learning) and Tikkun Olam (social justice).  Always, our focus is on what is best for our Rodef Sholom community.

On a more pragmatic and “day to day” level, we do our best to make Rodef Sholom a warm and caring synagogue home. This is the feeling that we hope congregants have when interacting with board members.  It is important for board members to focus on the bigger picture, that is true, but we also care very much about our fellow congregants and their lives.

One way in which we show that we care is by acknowledging congregant lifecycles. Our congregant families experience all kinds of ups and downs in their lives. At Rodef Sholom, we do our best to be supportive – to celebrate the simchas and blessings, and to be supportive during difficult times. When you call the synagogue office to let us know about one of these events, we want to let you know that we care. That is why you receive a call or a note from one of the members of the board of directors. We are a very large community – over 1,000 families – and we hope that if you do receive a note or a call you feel connected to a caring and supportive congregational family.

On April 8, 2010, at 7 pm in the Social Hall, the Board of Directors will vote on the proposed 2010-2011 budget for Congregation Rodef Sholom. Included in that budget is an increase in the Annual Membership Commitment of $100 per family. As you may recall, there was no increase in the membership commitment for 2009-2010. If you have comments regarding this increase, we invite you to contact Michael Kamler at 479.3441 or, or to attend the meeting, which like all of our board meetings, is open to the public.

On Sunday, February 21st at 9:30 am we have the opportunity to participate in a discussion and learn about Estate and Charitable Gift Planning. This free event will include a special presentation on ethical considerations for final arrangements planning by Rabbi Friedman.  I invite you to join me! 

Here is why I am going to attend:

When our children were young, we always celebrated and observed the Jewish holidays, making sure they grew up with a strong Jewish identity. Now that they are young adults, I see the presence of this identity in the way they talk about life, and in the values they are living. I notice it when, home from college and with a packed social calendar, they make a point of being home on Friday nights so that we can say the Shabbat blessings together as a family. My husband and I are filled with pride and a sense of joy to know that, as parents, we have passed on Jewish traditions to our children.

Beyond celebrating holidays and traditions, we know there is another way to ensure that Judiasm remains an important and thriving part of our lives, the lives of our children, their children, and so on for generations to come. We have become members of the Rodef Sholom Legacy Circle by including Rodef Sholom in our estate plans. It’s not only a way to show our dedication to Rodef Sholom, but also our commitment to future generations of Jews who deserve to be a part of our vibrant and caring community.

What better way to show we care about a healthy future for Rodef Sholom than to create a legacy for all who will carry on our values and traditions!



Keeping the lines of communication open is essential in maintaining a healthy relationship, and that includes communication between you, as a congregant and member of the Rodef Sholom family, and members of your Board of Directors.  We want to hear from you, and we want you to know what’s happening with the holy work that we are doing.

If you have something on your mind you can always drop a note in the Board of Directors mailbox in the temple office.  Comments and feedback are always appreciated.

We want you to know that you are always welcome to attend our monthly board meetings.  We meet on the 2nd Thursday of the month, at 7 pm in the social hall.  If you would like to attend, please contact Gigi at the temple office at 479.3441 or to let her know to expect you.  Attending a board meeting will give you a glimpse into the ongoing partnership between board members, clergy, staff and congregants at Rodef Sholom.  Every board meeting is different, most board meetings are packed with important strategic discussions and actions, and we always learn from each other.  Please join us!

Another way to get to know members of your Board of Directors is to look for us at the synagogue on Shabbat.  We’d love the opportunity to share the warmth of a friendly Shabbat service!   Sit with us, and enjoy the beauty and peacefulness as we celebrate Shabbat with our community.


Jan Luxenberg President, Board of Directors

Last month your Board of Directors, clergy and senior staff members gathered for our annual retreat. This special day enabled us to assess our short and long-term goals and to focus on strategy and vision for the future.

Our holy work – the work we did that day for our board and our congregation – took place in a truly collegial atmosphere, one filled with mutual respect, where people felt free to discuss opinions and ideas.   We focused on our true purpose – governance issues – and did so at the highest level. This allowed us to be really productive and do our best work, ultimately benefiting the entire congregation and community.

We worked to strengthen and unify our “messaging platform” – what we say when we describe Congregation Rodef Sholom to each other, to fellow congregants and to the greater community We explored how the values of tikkun olam, torah and learning, welcoming and g’milut hasadim (or, as we like to translate it, “radical kindness”) are woven together to uphold our core purpose - to be a kehillah kedosha (holy community) that is a source of spiritual nourishment that allows us to make the world a better place. We work to perpetuate the gift of Judaism for future generations, so that we can lead more meaningful, ethical and spiritual lives.

We also devoted a portion of the retreat to an important area of board development. We outlined basic board member responsibilities and explored the qualities of a well-qualified, devoted board member.

Our hope is that by understanding these facets of board service we will strengthen our board and the covenantal relationship we hold with each other and with you, our congregants.


Jan Luxenberg, President Board of Directors

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