PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE

 

Since this will be my last article as Temple President, please indulge me as I take this opportunity to look back and also toward the future.

I hope that there has been positive change during my term.  The appliances in the kitchen were badly in need of replacement, and that was completed.  Given the current societal environment we upgraded security around the Temple…for the people who worship, work and visit here.

We added an opportunity for non-Jews to serve in a limited capacity on the Temple Board.  We all pulled together as our rabbi went through major surgery.  And we also collectively navigated our way through an inconvenience known as the COVID pandemic.  All in all a somewhat more turbulent term than I was expecting.

It’s important for me to point out what a dedicated staff we’re blessed with at TBJ.  David Muenchrath, Erin Plank and Charles Stanton work tirelessly and are always so helpful and pleasant.  As a congregation we are very fortunate that they do so much behind the scenes.  And what can I say about Wendy Beckerman.  I don’t know if I’ve ever met anyone who has such a knack for communicating with varying age groups so effectively and effortlessly.  She’s a real treasure.

And to the incredible music staff: Laura Sparks, Ira Lacher, Chuck Kuba, Sam Miller, Tara Starr, Bobby Stinett and Bruce Brown.  As vocalists and musicians they do so much to enhance every service, from weekly Shabbat services to our High Holy Day services.  They help complete the experience.

I would also like to take the opportunity to acknowledge and thank Rabbi Kaufman.  After his heart surgery he readily resumed the pulpit and led our congregation.  During the pandemic he did a masterful job of orchestrating the technology for Shabbat and other services.  He also found new ways to reach out to members who were yearning for more in their secular life.  I admire his professionalism through these challenging times and respect his expertise.  We wish him well at his new pulpit.

I’d like to take a moment to comment on the individuals who serve on the Board and various committees for TBJ.  They give very selflessly of their time.  They are so committed to the well-being and the future of the Temple.  It’s truly a thankless job, so please accept my genuine thanks.  What they do, they do for all those who have sat in their seat in years past and for all those in generations to come.

My thanks to David Goldman, Steve Schoenebaum, Sally Frank and Rachele Hjelmaas.  Collectively and individually they have all volunteered their legal expertise for the benefit of the Temple.  Their contribution isn’t always the most glamorous or high-profile but it is so critical to the success of the Temple.

Thank you to all of the past presidents who provided me valuable insight and counsel.  Alan Adato left the table very well set.  And a special thanks to Sharon Goldford, Judy Deutch and Ben Swartz.

I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the support of my family.  Only a person’s family would tolerate the ride we’ve been on the last two years.

Most of all I’d like to thank all of you, the Temple community.  For me, as a kid who was raised at the Temple, this was the opportunity of a lifetime.  Other than the raising of my children, this has been my biggest privilege and that of which I’m most proud.  I realize that I didn’t please everyone all the time, but please know that I acted in the best interest of the Temple.  Here’s wishing all of you all an abundance of good health and happiness.

B’Shalom,
Bill Grund