At this time last year I was writing you about the prospect of Spring coming soon, upgrades to Temple security and new kitchen facilities. Oh for the simpler times…
With your kind indulgence I will try to bring you up to speed on a few timely issues.
About a month ago I sent out a status update which shared the survey that the Search Committee prepared. Since that time each of you should have had an opportunity to complete the survey either online or by hard copy.
Those results have been compiled and reviewed. They will factor in to the criteria used to help select the next rabbi. Originally the hope/intention was to also have forums and small group gatherings at the Temple to solicit feedback. The pandemic has eliminated those options, however there is still the expectation to conduct feedback sessions by Zoom. There will be more to come on that.
In the last update I also mentioned that rather than utilizing lay leaders or visiting rabbis who would come in on an as-needed basis, the Board intends to contract through the URJ for an interim rabbi for 12 months. That hire is in process and we anticipate that that individual will be in place as Rabbi Kaufman leaves for his new pulpit.
As a congregation we have been fortunate that a relatively small number of congregants have had Covid and an even fewer number suffered serious complications. At this time last year there were very few, if any of us, who could have anticipated the true impact of the virus.
Although it wasn’t necessarily the popular decision at the time, I believe we made the appropriate decision to stop in-person gatherings at the Temple. Of course hindsight offers the benefit of 20/20 vision.
I know we’re all looking forward to the option of attending events AT the Temple. Until that time and on a continued basis afterward, we will continue making services available online. In fact it has been in the plans for quite some time to provide the online option. However one unintended benefit of the pandemic is that it sped up that process.
To continue on the theme of online services, I continue to be surprised and impressed with the turnout for our regular Friday evening Shabbat services. I think the part I enjoy most is the way in which everyone greets each other and chats before and after the service begins. We’ve had visitors to services who have circled back with me after services and comment how much everyone seems to like seeing each other, even if it’s virtually. They say that the best word they can use to describe it is a real sense of family. I couldn’t agree more.
PURIM & PASSOVER
Purim is just around the corner, starting the evening of Feb. 25th, and then Passover begins the evening of Mar. 27th. As we all continue to acclimate to the new “now,” I wish everyone safe and enjoyable holidays.