President's Message: May 2013
Building a Vibrant Community
May is a month of transition, as we bring our fiscal year to a close and elect our new Board at our Annual Meeting on Sunday, May 5, at 10:00 am in the Social Hall.
This year we are also holding a breakfast just prior to the Board meeting to thank our many volunteers. I hope you all will be able to attend (RSVP to for the breakfast).
Being part of the leadership team in a vibrant community such as ours is an enriching and rewarding experience. This past year has been an important and exciting one for B'nai Shalom. Last July we welcomed Rabbis Gurevitz and Krieger to our community. Since then, we have been working hard at doing things differently.
We modified our administrative structure so that our senior staff (Rabbi, Rabbi-Educator, and Administrator) now acts as a leadership team. We reconfigured our secretarial staff to enhance collaboration and efficiency. In addition, largely through the efforts of Ed Sherr and Mark Rosen, we have taken a major step forward in cleaning up our fiscal books and moving to a cash basis and monthly budgeting. Going forward, this will allow us to have a much clearer understanding of our financial picture as the year unfolds.
Discussions at Board meetings have taken on a distinctly different flavor. We now spend very little time talking about logistics or administrative issues, and instead focus on the big picture, trying to understand trends in the community at large that will affect how B'nai Shalom will need to evolve over time. We have started to look beyond our four walls by building stronger relations with the Federation of Central Massachusetts and other congregations, and by looking for ways to engage unaffiliated Jews in our community.
While all of these changes are significant, they do not begin to reflect the palpable change in ambiance that you feel when you walk through our doors, the playfulness of our "Ritual Lab" services, the community of Shabbat morning Torah Study, or the interest generated as we explored mysticism in a Jewish context.
The measures I described only help to form the foundation for our future success. However, nothing will feel different to you if you do not consider yourself to be an integral part of the community. By sharing your joys and struggles with others in our community, the entire community becomes enriched. Your participation in the many fun or enriching experiences that take place regularly at our temple, especially if you help to plan something new that your feel passionate about, will help enhance its meaning for you as well the community. Please share your thoughts and ideas with me, Rabbis Gurevitz or Eiduson, Abby, or any member of the Board.
In closing, I would like to thank our "retiring" Board members — Wendy Wilsker (VP of Congregational Affairs), Ed Sherr (Treasurer), Debbie Bresnick, Nioma Lazarine and Wendy Starr -- for all of their hard work over the past few years to help ensure that our community prospered.