This is always an interesting time of the year – it’s so…transitional.  We’re still in the midst of the summer for which we waited so long, but the State Fair is here and the start of school is just around the corner.  Soon we’ll be focused on juggling hectic schedules throughout the week and college football on Saturdays…after Torah study of course.

The High Holy Days are a bit later this year, with Erev Rosh Hashanah falling on Sunday 9/29 and Kol Nidre on Tuesday 10/8.  What are your memories of this time, either as a child or as an adult?  Mine go back to 3rd grade religious school and BJ Shlaes bringing in apples and honey.  Or Kathy Mandelbaum and Wendy Barmish leading our class to the chapel for services with Rabbi Goldburg.

I also remember missing classes at Roosevelt High School for services.  Between Temple kids and the kids from Tifereth Israel there were so many students gone that there was never any question the absences wouldn’t have a negative impact…even when the TI kids took an extra day at Rosh Hashanah.  We had 20 people in my Temple confirmation class.  We were from Roosevelt, Valley, Hoover and Urbandale…and we were all friends.

I suspect that this is where somebody should nudge me and remind me to stop reminiscing and look at what a terrific Temple environment we have today.  It’s true!  In spite of demographic challenges and the occasional financial hurdle, our Temple is poised to celebrate the Hebrew year 5780.  We have an exceptional staff taking care of the day-to-day details.

Your Temple Board is committed to safeguarding where we are today while at the same time keeping an eye on what the future holds.  Our Temple Board is a great mix of diverse individuals: women & men; young & not so young; those members new to the Temple & those from generations at the Temple.

I would be very remiss if I didn’t give special mention to the musicians and vocalists who provide the music during services, particularly around the High Holy Days.  They add so much richness to our services and the overall experience.  In many ways I believe they are what helps distinguish the Temple.  My personal thanks to all those who contribute.

We are entering a joyous and holy time for us.  We are privileged to carry on traditions that have been passed down to us from generation to generation over thousands of years.  We have a place to worship that has no rival in terms of its beauty and significance to its congregants.  Your Temple board and staff hope you’ll be able to join us for High Holy Day services, but however you choose to worship here’s wishing you a sweet and happy New Year!

And whether your personal favorite is the butter cow, the midway, or the livestock buildings…or if you’re a Cyclone, Hawkeye or Panther, enjoy this time of year!


Bill Grund