It is a pleasure to join other lay leaders who work so diligently for our sacred community. Let me share a little about myself:
• I hold dear the Jewish values of learning, tikkun olam to repair our world – but even more so translating these into actions: inclusion, diversity, connectedness, welcoming.
• My Jewish journey took a big step in 1991 when my husband and I joined Temple and our daughter Sarah attended Religious School;
• Over the years, I participated in several ‘Introduction to Judaism’ courses, we joyously celebrated Sarah’s Bat Mitzvah, travelled on a Temple trip to Israel with our extended family and in 2006, with Rabbi Garten’s support, I became a Jew by Choice;
• In short, my connections with our community have steadily grown. I consider Temple my Jewish home where together we worship, learn, celebrate, comfort, share and care for one another.
For the coming two years, I hope to focus on three areas:
First: I will work to nurture a collaborative and effective sacred partnership with our clergy, staff, other lay leaders and congregants. This year we are blessed with the arrival of Rabbi Mikelberg – this is a wonderful opportunity to work together from the beginning to strengthen our sacred community.
Second: I hope to develop a leadership pipeline, particularly to engage younger leaders. I will be looking for new ways to invite congregants to contribute creativity and energy as we work together for the shared future of Temple Israel.
Third: our building, our physical home. Almost 45 years old, its aging infrastructure needs rejuvenation. Temple’s building is not only a physical home where we worship and celebrate but also a hub for progressive Jewish voices and actions such as education and social action programs, school and youth activities and inspiring music.
As we face essential upgrades to building systems, safety, security and accessibility that are estimated to cost $2-3M, it makes sense to plan thoughtfully to maximize these investments to meet future needs. Our vision is our guide.
Lastly, I believe in communicating. I will strive to listen to congregants, consult committees and share the challenges and results of the Board. If you can help with communications, it would be a mitzvah! Shema is our command to listen, with our ears, our hearts, our minds, our souls.
Please join me on the journey ahead!
It is my pleasure to acknowledge the legacies of past presidents Steve Asherman, (2017-19) and Patsy Royer
(2015-17). To recognize their leadership and as a token of our esteem and gratitude, we are adding two leaves in their names to the lobby Tree of Life. Both have worked hard to forge strong relationships with our clergy, staff and congregants and, most comforting to me, are still smiling and very much standing up for Temple!
Board members invested a November Sunday to get to know one another better as we work together for Temple and to build on our shared vision of an inclusive community ‘Kehilah’, lending our voice and actions as liberal Jews to the larger community ‘K’lal Yisrael’ and caring for one another and the world we inhabit ‘Gimilot Chasadim’ and ’Tikkun Olam’.
The results are motivating: we learned, laughed, cried and noshed. Plans are afoot to improve board effectiveness and focus on strategic issues. Stay tuned.
Margot Montgomery, President