As I look around the room I am delighted to see the large number of people who’ve come out today. I hope that similar numbers of people will find time to be with us when we come together in future to discuss the exciting developments that will be coming forward at Holy Blossom.
This year far more people, of great diversity, talent and experience have come forward to participate in synagogue life than ever before. That is very exciting.
Last year when I was part of the nominating committee we had to beat the bushes to bring forward good board members. This year, as you have heard, more than 50 people presented their names for consideration by the Nominating Committee. The officers held interviews for Department Heads. We spent two sessions meeting volunteers who had prepared diligently for those interviews, who had amazing ideas and great energy to bring forward.
Look at the calendar of events around the synagogue. Programs for tots, Torah study, Brotherhood and Sisterhood events, public events large and small about Israel and the issues of our time, and of course more than one service on any given holiday. We are vibrant.
There is enormous talent energy and commitment here. It is our history: caring for our members and being a beacon to the community. About a year ago a number of us attended the URJ Biennial in Washington DC. We felt the extraordinary energy, depth, and wisdom of the reform movement in a way we could barely have imagined. And to have the President of the United States, in the course of the d’var torah which was part of his address, say that it is unlikely he would be standing there as President where it not for the role of Reform in the civil rights movement speaks volumes for the importance of what we do. And as you know, this congregation played a seminal role in that struggle.
This is the essence of what we do, it’s what excites and inspires us, and that’s what draws the remarkable people to whom you have been introduced to take on leadership roles in this congregation.
In a few hours Beny Maissner will travel to Israel to join in the 50th anniversary celebration of his military unit. There can be no better expression of the links between Holy Blossom Temple and Israel than that. We wish him lech le’cha shalom.
We have many to thank. On behalf of those of us who are about to assume leadership positions at Holy Blossom, thank you to our families, and our teachers, for having provided us with the education, life experience and sense of values that we will call upon as we assume our roles. We cannot do this without the support, and encouragement and good cheer of our families.