July/August 2008: Shabbat Shalom

I would like to begin my presidency with a special thank you to Eta Kaplan. I was thrilled when you said it would be an honor to be the installing officer this year. I always admired your dedication as a member of this temple and I will be looking to you for advice this coming year. 

I would like to begin my presidency with a special thank you to Eta Kaplan. I was thrilled when you said it would be an honor to be the installing officer this year. I always admired your dedication as a member of this temple and I will be looking to you for advice this coming year. Stuart, at this time will you please join me at the bimah. Your years as president of Temple Beth Sholom had its challenges with the completion of the renovations. I am sure you are now looking forward to spending more time with your lovely family. On behalf of the congregation, I would like to present this plaque to thank you for the dedication and leadership you showed during your presidency. (The plaque reads…presented to – Stuart Katz for your dedication and leadership as our President –Temple Beth Sholom 2006-2008.) Also, I would personally like to present this book titled THE GRAPHIC HISTORY OF THE JEWISH HERITAGE -THE BIBLICAL PERIOD to thank you for the support and encouragement you have given me. I hope you will find time to just sit and enjoy reading. As I sat on the opposite side of the table at the past board meetings and watched you handle challenging questions with ease, I only hope I can meet the expectations of the Nominating Committee and continue to lead this congregation in a positive and productive manner. Thank you. As most of the congregation knows, I have been around here for a very long time. I have seen Temple Beth Sholom grow and change. In fact, I was just thinking that Andy and I were among the first couples to get married in the renovated sanctuary – 29 years ago. The proof is in our wedding photos which show the bright red rug! But, I was a member of TBS long before I met Andy. My family moved to Hamden in 1960 and then joined the synagogue a few years later. We were regular Friday nighters even that many years ago.  Time marches on and tonight I am part of a new slate of officers that have made a commitment to carry out the vision of our predecessors. We will continue in their footsteps to open our doors to those who are looking for a warm and caring community. I look forward to working with our seasoned and new members of the board and will strive to keep communications open following in the footsteps of our past leaders. Our goal this year is to raise $19,000 or more to meet the needs of the 2008-09 budget. This cannot be reached without your help. I plan to have brainstorming sessions throughout the summer to help us spark some new fundraising ideas. As we enjoy our recently renovated synagogue, there is one area that is still in need of some loving care. In every home the kitchen is the place where everyone stands around and chats and kvels over the freshly cooked meal. We welcome the smell of chicken soup or eye the lightly browned kugal. We hear the sizzling of latkes in the frying pan. And of course, our taste buds are satisfied …knowing that we purchased our food with gift certificates from Stop Shop, Everybody’s Shop Rite, Shaw’s, or Big Y.  Temple Beth Sholom always seems to attract more congregants to our services and programs when we include delectable delights. Before the fall, I would like to form a committee to plan on how to spruce up Ethel’s kitchen. A kitchen should be warm and inviting as it is in all our homes. I hope that the word “fun” would be in this special fundraising event to be solely dedicated to our kitchen. The leadership of former presidents should not be left untapped. I therefore would like to form a Past Presidents Forum to meet and discuss the future of TBS. These knowledgeable and dedicated individuals have so much to offer that quarterly meetings would surely be advantageous to our present Temple board. Stuart, I hope you will accept this role as immediate past president to start this committee. With the rising cost of gasoline, and people traveling less for recreational activities, we now have an opportunity to provide additional intergenerational and family programs close to home. I look forward to working with all arms of the temple and reach out to our membership for new and innovative ideas. When I read the announcements following services, I understand more clearly why our motto is “a warm and caring community.” We come together to welcome the Sabbath, celebrate a mitzvah or holiday, support those who grieve, or remember a loved one. We are blessed to have so many congregants to lead a service .I ask that you make a commitment of one morning or one evening a month for yourself and others. Moreover, the TBS family is fortunate to have such a dedicated, scholarly and caring Rabbi. I look forward to working with you. Rabbi, you mentioned to me that Stuart answered your emails immediately. My summer assignment is to learn how to use email on my cell phone. In the meantime, I am getting pretty good at text messaging. So, there is an alternative for you. In conclusion, I want to say I am proud to have my family here this evening to share in my simcha. As a child of long standing members of Temple Beth Sholom, I learned that it is important to be involved in what you believe in. Both my parents enjoyed being a part of the Men’s Club and Sisterhood. When dad retired, he became a Mitzvah man as my mom is still very much part of that committee. Since I was 12 years old, my parents encouraged me to get involved in civic, social and religious organizations. Besides being a part of the Duchess Court Klown Unit, a Masonic affiliated organization, I was an officer in our Temple’s USY, and later on Sisterhood Co-Presidents with first Joan Levine and then with my sister, Mindy. I thank my husband Andy and daughters Lauren and Jill and future son-in-law Matthew, for supporting me on this new endeavor. I probably won’t be cooking dinner much when there is a night meeting. BUT, you’re probably thinking – why is this night different from any other night??? Oh, that’s another holiday.  Shabbat Sholom.