I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself. I look forward to working together with you over the next few years. My wife Debby and I were married by Rabbi Scolnic and our children, Sara and Molly attended K’Tanim and Hebrew School at TBS. Debby has been a Kinderlach/ Primary 1 teacher in the Hebrew School over the past ten years. I grew up in Hamden. My parents were members of the Hamden Jewish Community Center in Centerville in the 40’s and 50’s and charter members of our Temple. My mother is also a member here at TBS.
I started coming to daily minyans when my father died four and one half years ago. I lead the Sunday morning minyan with my daughter Molly, Shabbat mornings, and any time that my services are needed. I cherish the friendships that I have made with our TBS members. We are here for each other to celebrate Simchas and personal accomplishments, as well as mourning the loss of those who we care deeply for. Life brings many challenges, and our love of Judaism helps to prepare us for the right choices. Discipline and organization in our daily ritual activities are integral to the other aspects of our lives. I always give thought to the main components of prayer: praise and petition; however, perspective enables me to evaluate my interactions with others in order to see where I might be able to improve myself.
I was moved by the quote I read from Colin Powell’s new book: “To the world, you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world.” Tikun Olam, or repairing the world, has always been a priority at our Shul. Temple Beth Sholom will continue to be a leader among the benchmark for all to compare, assuring that the legacy of Diane Kaplan’s work will flourish for generations to come.
In order to be strong in the greater community, we must maintain the strength within the TBS community. Each of us should make a commitment to attend daily minyans every month. Many of our members are counting on us. Our new Minyan Maker software is available on the Temple webpage to facilitate scheduling the minyan attendance. Your participation is necessary for us to perform our ritual obligations.
Involvement in activities such as the Men’s Club, Sisterhood and the Mitzvah Committee are also deeply rewarding. Everyone’s personalities and personal life experiences enrich the vitality of our many organizations and help to sustain their effectiveness.
Joint participation between these various committees resulted in some of our most successful events. The cooperation of the Adult Education Committee, Ritual Committee and the Men’s Club along with contributions from designated funds made the Cantor’s Weekend memorable. We all worked together for a common goal.
The Friday night Shabbat dinners have also been very enjoyable. Another example of team work is this year’s Shavuot weekend. In the coming year, I hope that the Men’s Club and Sisterhood could lead a Shabbat service together. The Hebrew School could combine a holiday celebration with the Adult Ed committee, and Sisterhood could work with the Membership Committee to increase our exposure to potential new members. Our new Temple officers are extremely competent and share the same love that I have for TBS. I am excited about presenting our Shul to the community and confident we will grow our membership. It is time for us to focus on what we can do for others and we will all gain strength.