President’s Message—High Holy Day Speech
L’shana Tovah. As we began our 14th year in June, I reflected on all the growth we have had and all the blessings bestowed upon this Congregation. There is much for which to be grateful. We are a strong, vibrant, growing Congregation. Much has been accomplished, but there is still work to be done.
We suffered two Board losses this year. Tobye Watkins and Marsha Cochin were taken from us much too soon. They are sorely missed. I want to thank the Board for its support as I stepped up and thanks to those who agreed to fill the open positions. We have a Board that works very well together and I am grateful for their support and dedication.
Financially, we are strong, thanks to your generosity. I know you understand our dues do not cover all our costs. It costs about $120 per person to meet our budget. We are facing a significant expense this year. Our Torahs are in need of repair and stitching. That will probably cost several thousand dollars which is not in the budget because we were not aware of the issue at the time the budget was put together. So when you make your donation please think about our most sacred possession and add a little more if you can. We can only accomplish our goals with your continued support, so your generosity is much appreciated.
I want to share a little story entitled: “Who’s Job Is It, Anyway?”
This is a story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody. There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have.
What’s our most important need? You! We need your volunteerism. We need your ideas, your energy, and your enthusiasm. We have been blessed with individuals who work tirelessly, but we need younger and newer members to step up and help out. We can only continue to grow with your involvement. We have to think to the future and I would encourage everyone to ask themselves: What am I willing to do for Temple Oseh Shalom? How much of myself am I willing to share? Sometimes the smallest thing can mean so much. I’m reminded of a very famous Hillel quote, which I’m sure you know: “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, what am I? And if not now, when?”
We need volunteers in all phases of Temple operations. Participation must mean more than complaining, writing critical emails, or criticizing the best efforts of the people who make things happen. And so my mantra for this year continues to be: “Be generous with your praise and gentle with your criticism.” We are all volunteers trying our very best to provide you with an enriching, spiritual Temple experience. With your help we will continue to do so.
I want to thank the Board members and volunteers of the Temple, Sisterhood and Brotherhood – you make a tremendous difference and your efforts are much appreciated.
In closing, if I have said or done anything either intentionally, or unintentionally, to hurt or offend anyone in any way, I ask for your forgiveness and I extend my forgiveness to anyone who may have hurt me.
The Board and I want to wish you a sweet year. May you be inscribed for good in the book of life.