July/August 2014: From TBS President Bryan H. Pines

We are blessed to have the privilege of living in a strong Jewish community. On a weekly basis, I have participated on committees that are intended to strengthen the bond between community Shuls in order to work together for the improvement of the greater Jewish population.

Our friends at other synagogues have the same challenges in providing a spiritual, educational, and social home for its members in order to enrich their lives. Many of our programs at TBS are designed to welcome non-members and encourage their participation in our various activities and discussions. I have fostered many friendships at each of the synagogues in the New Haven area. I feel extremely comfortable davening with them at their Shul; however I am most proud to welcome them in our home. Please join us for a weekday or Shabbat morning service.

Temple Beth Sholom will receive $100,000, the largest grant awarded from the Jewish Federation/ Jewish Foundation of Greater New Haven in order to replace our aging roof. The funding of the project is due in part to our commitment to providing for the greater community. I anticipated that our grant would be fully funded because I know how devoted we are to Tikun Olam. I chose to apply for the grant in the second phase of the program to maximize the impact, and asked a fellow Temple member and dear friend to write a masterpiece. The grant is intended to match dollar for dollar the amount raised by the congregation. Our member’s contributions have been impressive but we haven’t reached our goal yet. There is still time to make a contribution or add to your existing commitment.

Recently, my family and I traveled to Long Island to attend a family Bat Mitzvah. To my surprise, the Rabbi was an old friend who relocated to Nassau County from Connecticut. One of the upcoming Mitzvah projects planned at their Shul requires the participation of 613 member volunteers, each performing a Mitzvah. It does not matter about the number of Mitzvot performed by each individual, but rather the number of individuals performing one Mitzvah. What a wonderful idea it would be to sustain that level of solidarity at Temple Beth Sholom. It would be thrilling to achieve that objective even for attendance at Shul for the second day of Rosh Hashanah.

The past eighteen months I have been encouraging legacy giving to build the Temple’s endowment. We received the first half of a GNHJF grant of $15,000 for our 2013 contributions, but we still need more contributors to reach our 2014 goal. I am concerned that the importance of growing the endowment for the Temple’s future has not been realized by the congregation. Not only does it provide protection for the future, it funds our general operating budget with the accrued interest. Our Legacy and Endowment Committees will be hosting special events to honor our members who have made contributions to the TBS endowment. I hope that you will join us in celebrating our pledge to protect TBS in perpetuity. While it is important for each of us to provide security for our own children’s future, I hope that you consider Temple Beth Sholom as part of your family.

Bryan H. Pines

TBS President