Shalom and Happy New Year 2023 to you. May our Temple continue to thrive this year.
I hope you are as excited as I am about the upcoming event that we are co-hosting with our friends at Lowcountry Presbyterian Church. On Sunday evening, January 8th, Bobby and Sara Hamilton from the Historic Savannah Theater will be performing for us. Thanks to Hal Rappoport for arranging this. (See the ad on page 8 of this month’s Shofar for further details about how to obtain tickets.)
I’m pleased to report that we have a newly expanded Membership Committee that is working hard on a number of innovative programs that will allow us to reach out to visitors and prospective members, and also be more inclusive of new members. Watch for announcements about these programs in the coming months. In fact, I believe that all of us are de facto members of this committee. We need to be alert to the new members and visitors who come to services. Go over and introduce yourself to people you don’t know or don’t recognize. Invite someone to sit with you. We all know how tough it is to arrive at a new place where you don’t know anyone. Each of us can make a difference.
Finally, I want to publicly apologize to a few people whom I have failed to thank during my announcements at the conclusion of Friday night Shabbat services. While I always credit Rabbi Kanter, Cantor Ken Rosenberg, our choir and musical accompanist, our Ritual Committee chairs, and people who have had honors that evening, I have neglected to acknowledge a few other folks without whom our services would not be possible. For starters, I want to give a shoutout to Mitch Sacks, who arrives early to makes sure that the sanctuary is set up properly before services. Mitch is our FILO guy (“First In, Last Out”) as he also puts everything away once services are over. Barbara Gartenlaub and Judy Goldberg are always standing at the table by the front door to greet congregants and visitors, hand out prayer books, and check to see that all those with honors have arrived. Additionally Rhoda Rubin and Patti Sacks give out membership applications and directories, and answer questions about our temple. Many thanks to all of these extraordinary volunteers for their efforts.
And, as long as I’m thanking people, I want to take the opportunity to recognize Eileen Goldberg for her extraordinary work as chair of the Care Committee for the past three years. Those of us who (fortunately) have not been recipients of the efforts of this committee don’t realize how much they actually do. Along with her great committee members, Eileen has coordinated attending to the needs of congregants who have a serious illness, have recently had surgery, or have had a death in the family. She has also been putting together the Mishebeirach list that Rabbi Kanter reads at our monthly Shabbat services. Many thanks, Eileen, for all you have done for Temple Oseh Shalom. And our thanks and best wishes to Etta Yospa, who has stepped up to take over chairing this important committee.
Finally, I hope to see more of you getting involved this year and taking on volunteer roles in our Temple. Our “Imagine Oseh Shalom” meetings last spring evoked many suggestions on how we can improve going forward. It takes time and effort to make these things happen.