201603 - March/April, 2016

on Sunday, 28 February 2016.

201603 - March/April, 2016


Thinking, about what to write for the February deadline of the bulletin, I opened 10 Minutes of Torah, and saw an article on the role of the president in Reform Judaism. This certainly hit close to home. Coming close to the end of my two-year term, I have done a great deal of thinking about this experience and its value to the congregation and to me. I found this article quite empathetic and supportive.

 Rabbi Sussman says:

“Anyone who has been a synagogue member or professional knows that the synagogue president is the unsung hero of Judaism in America. The synagogue president, often by personal nature and always by congregational legislation, is the number one volunteer at a synagogue, performing work that often borders on being a full time, albeit unpaid, job. The president is charged with vast governance, management, and financial powers. Partnering with the clergy, overseeing the business operations of the synagogue, presiding over the governance of the congregation, and serving as the chief financial officer and revenue generator is just the tip of the iceberg of a modern synagogue president’s responsibilities.”

The above is certainly accurate and well said. He doesn’t mention, however, the rewards the president receives, from using her skills, and the knowing that she is giving in a meaningful way to the community. In addition, it is important to indicate here that our Temple and most other temples could not begin to function without the enormous contributions of many other significant volunteers, including the executive, and board members.

All of this is by way of saying, that the nominating committee will begin deliberating in March. If any of you have the urge to serve the congregation in a significant way, please make yourself known to Wally or me. It would be much appreciated.

 I will end with another quote from Rabbi Sussman:
“Finally, within congregations, it is often said that the best job is the IPP – the immediate past president! For some IPPs, that may be true. However, the majority of IPPs seem to continue with their congregational responsibilities and, in some cases, even revert to setting up chairs and tables for special events and stuffing envelopes for mass mailings. (W e have been very fortunate with our current IPP, Wally, who has not stopped: writing articles, taking pictures, singing in the choir, supporting all of our events, donating generously, and being willing to do whatever is asked.) The historical reality of the American synagogue is that it would not exist and probably could not persist without its number one lay leader, the synagogue president, the unsung hero of Judaism in America.”
Thank you, Rabbi Sussman!

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