This is my first opportunity to address the congregation as Temple president.  I do it with some sense of trepidation since at this time I have not yet been approved by a vote of the members at our Annual Meeting.  I’m not typically a superstitious person, however I do subscribe to the long-held Jewish belief of not tempting fate…so I’m going out on a bit of a limb.

I must begin by acknowledging and profusely thanking outgoing president Alan Adato.  Alan has given selflessly of himself at a time when the Temple has continued to reshape its self.

His stewardship has been amazing particularly when one considers that he and his wife Wendy have two adult sons in college…both of whom have been active in the Jewish community.  And thank you to Wendy as well who has been incredibly supportive of both Alan and the Temple.  Alan, Wendy, Michael and Ethan – the Temple community wishes you nothing but the best in the future.

From one perspective Alan has left a heck of a legacy to follow.  With the gracious help of Temple member and Albaugh Corp. attorney Stuart Feldstein, on Saturday, May 18th the Temple tried a new fundraiser, the Temple Gala at Albaugh World Headquarters in Ankeny.  Gala committee members Alan Adato, Samantha Kemp Carlin, Sarah Mansfield, Tara Starr and Emily Kruse created an evening that was the combination of two events.

The Premier Event was a catered dinner at the Albaugh Business Center, which was capped at approximately 40 people.  Attendees had their choice of steak, salmon or a vegetarian dinner.  Against the backdrop of a delightful music ensemble, it was a lively evening of wine, conversation and socializing.  After dinner everyone adjourned across the parking lot to the Albaugh corporate office to join with those attending the Main Event.

At the Main Event participants enjoyed hors d’oeuvres and wine while socializing and viewing the silent auction items.  There was a terrific mix of Temple members and staff.  Everyone seemed to thoroughly enjoy the evening.  At 9:00ish the winners of the silent auction items were announced, as well as the unveiling of our new Temple logo.

One of the high points of the evening was the opportunity to tour what Mr. Albaugh quaintly calls his “car barn”.  Comprising 45,000 square feet below the Business Center, there are 189 classically restored Chevrolets, starting with the model year 1919.  There were multiple years of Corvettes and Impalas as well as other models.  For many it took us back to another time.

All in all it was an evening enjoyed by everybody.  My thanks also to David Muenchrath and Erin Plank in the Temple office for all their help coordinating the event.  Tentative plans are already in place to try something similar next year.  This will give those who didn’t have a chance to attend this year the opportunity at that time.  I think those who attended this year will also look forward to it.

On a more personal note, I appreciate this opportunity to serve the Temple.  My mother’s confirmation picture is on the wall outside the sanctuary (class of 1939); both of my sisters have their pictures up there; mine is there, and so are both of my children’s.  The Temple is home.  My hope is that at some point in your life you will feel like it is your home as well.

Bill Grund