At my first Temple Shalom Board meeting about 5 years ago, the congregation had been through difficult times. Burst pipes had flooded the building and the loss of a beloved rabbi accelerated years of attrition. At that meeting, someone said the only and obvious option was to dissolve the congregation and sell the building. No, not today, I thought. This sacred place of love, friendships, and families won't end with a dangling For Sale sign.
And here we are today. Due to the dedication of our old members, and the vision of our new members, our congregation is not just surviving - it is growing, evolving, and deepening our connection to each other and to G-d. We are delighted to be led in worship by Rabbi Kripper, who along with Cantor Scheff, and Daniel Berkman, each in his own way, show us a connection to Judaism that is grounded in love, compassion, and vulnerability.
Our Board of Directors reflects our history and our future. We are humbled by the decades of service that built and sustained the congregation and members old and new who are eager to take this place of covenant and community into the future.
This year, we’ve joined with Congregation Jeshuat Israel to establish Kulanu: The United Hebrew School. In Hebrew, Kulanu means “all of us,” perfect for our unified, inclusive community. I am deeply grateful for our committed and energized school board members and faculty who are strengthening Jewish identity and joy in our children.
At Temple Shalom we learn and play, celebrate and mourn, and socialize and worship together. We are a community that acknowledges that we are sacred; a place for the care and feeding of our spirits; a community that facilitates our spiritual practice and deepens our sense of perspective, meaning, and purpose. This is the essence of Judaism - our purpose is to make G-d’s presence felt through the creation of community.
This congregation has shown the grit and resilience that our people, the Jewish people, have embodied for 3,000 years. With your support, this Temple will rise.
On behalf of Ethan, our children Ben, Toby, and Sam, and the Board of Directors, we hope everyone had an enjoyable and meaningful holiday season. We look forward to many future celebrations with you.