President’s Message




I can’t imagine starting this journey as temple president without first recognizing, and expressing my gratitude for, the tremendous efforts of our outgoing president and board members.

It wasn’t until these past couple of years, in my role as first vice president, that I gained a true appreciation for the responsibilities of the president. Sam Kaplan managed so many details, from the mundane to the highly complex and sensitive, always with an eye toward the best interests of our congregation, and never with even a smidgen of self-importance. He put in countless hours of service. He is a great role model for all board members and we are lucky to have him staying with us in his role as immediate past president.

JoAnne Rosenblum, who brought much-needed structure to the processes that govern the day-to-day workings of our temple, led efforts to develop our strategic plan, and made ‘Audacious Hospitality’ a household word during her presidency and beyond, is rolling off the board after serving out her term as immediate past president. Fortunately, JoAnne will continue to serve on a number of committees, as well as at the national level, as a URJ board member. I know I’ll look to her for guidance in my new role.

As you know, we recently honored Joe Karpen for his many years of service as a past president, board member, treasurer, and capital campaign chair. Joe, always soft spoken and mild mannered, helped us adopt effective meeting management tools, was our unofficial historian, and managed our finances. Although he resigned his position as treasurer, he continues to assist with financial management and the capital campaign, and promised that he’ll be around when we need him.

Sherrill Zoller is wrapping up her term on the board. You all know Sherrill as a devoted leader of Tikkun Olam, and she will, thankfully, continue in that role. Those of us who served with her as trustees also know her as a thoughtful member who contributed insights from years of experience in our congregation and in her old congregation. She kept us thinking about our obligation to ‘repair the world.’

Bob Davis is another one of those people who, although his term as a trustee has ended, will continue to support the temple in countless ways. He officially leads the House Committee, and unofficially keeps so many aspects of our building running smoothly every day. Bob’s thoughtful contributions to all of our discussions will be sorely missed. He helped design and implement our strategic plan.

Cindy Feiler stepped down from the board in order to focus more of her attention to the Religious School Committee. Cindy, always sensitive and caring, was a great asset to the board. She regularly reminded us of the personal impact our decisions would have on our members, helping us make compassionate decisions.

The board also said good bye to Alice Cohen. Alice always brought energy and enthusiasm to our discussions. She didn’t hesitate to ask the difficult questions that challenged us to take our discussions to the next level. In addition to being a trustee, Alice served as secretary to the board.

Rubin Feldstein represented Brotherhood at our board meetings. I don’t have to tell anyone who knows Rubin that his gift was his wonderful sense of humor. He was also the voice of just plain common sense when we needed it most.

From the bottom of my heart, I thank each of these special people, who gave so much time and effort to the temple, as trustees. I will miss them at board meetings, but know that they will continue to contribute to the success of our temple family in many ways.

I’m excited to step into my new role, with continuing and new board members, with Rabbi, Craig, Toby and all of our staff. In the months ahead, I’m looking forward to sharing stories with you about our current trustees as I get to know them better. And, I’m looking forward to getting to know all of you better. Please feel free to give me a call or drop me a line if you’d like to chat!

Karen

Email: president@bethhatephila.org

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