Since being elected president of CBHT a few weeks ago, I have had the opportunity to reflect on why I serve on the board and what it means to me in the context of my connection to our temple community. Let’s be honest: our board has occasionally had meetings that have gone on too long, then continued in the parking lot. Some of the tasks the board takes on are the mundane tasks of any organization with a budget, a building, and a membership. But what makes it all more than worthwhile, and truly a pleasure, is the great group of people on our board that I get to meet with every few weeks.
I’m one of those people who finds value in tackling tasks that just need to get done. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a Buddhist who can find the sublime in every mundane task. (And, anyone who tries to tell you they love every minute of every committee meeting they have ever been to shouldn’t be allowed on any committee.) But our temple board has been blessed with such a great group of kind, generous people that it has never been a burden to devote the time necessary to finish a discussion or make a considered decision.
As we transition into a new board at the beginning of the fiscal year (which started last month), I hope, if you have the opportunity, you will thank our board members for devoting their time and energy to the hard work of temple leadership, whether mundane or sublime. I hope also that you will find new and interesting ways to participate in temple activities, perhaps even volunteer to join a committee or two. And, I thank you for being part of our shared temple community.
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Previous messages from the President
Over the past two years, when I have spoken to people about my role as president of our temple, I would get that “Oh, I am so sorry” look. They most always say something about how tedious it must be to deal with the complainers, the naysayers. I can honestly say that has not been … Continue reading President’s Message
As I wrote to you back in March, at the recommendation of the Executive Committee, the Board of Trustees authorized the sale of the property that CBHT owns on Washington Road, behind the playground. Since then, we had measurements taken to assure that we had enough green space on temple property to meet city requirements, … Continue reading President’s Message – May 2019
How fortunate we are to have such a ‘deep bench’ at CBHT. We have a considerable number of very talented ‘players’ who can step up during a transition or help fill a knowledge gap when we’re sailing in uncharted territory. Some of this is by design. By the time someone moves into the president role, … Continue reading President’s Message
I’ve been thinking a lot about Jewish food lately. My daughter is planning her wedding and is designing the menu around ‘Jew-ish’ food — pastrami and rye, falafel in pita, black and white cookies, Israeli salads — a little of this and a little of that, mixing what we think of as culturally Jewish food … Continue reading President’s Message – February 2019
CBHT Heroes For a while now, we have been thinking about honoring congregants who’ve made important contributions to CBHT by instituting a ‘Volunteer of the Year’ award. It certainly makes sense, as there are many people who have given so much of their time and talent. In fact, it’s a huge challenge to think about … Continue reading President’s Message – January 2019
On the Shabbat when the murders took place in the Tree of Life congregation in Pittsburgh, the Torah portion was Vayera, from Genesis, recounting how Abraham welcomed perfect strangers into his tent. As Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), said in his initial statement after the shootings, it was so … Continue reading Presidents Message – December 2018
Excerpted from President’s Erev Rosh HaShanah Speech I’d like to take a minute to tell you a little about my personal Jewish journey. I converted to Judaism in 2004, but my journey began in 2001, in the weeks right after 9/11. My sister’s husband was killed that day, while he was working at the top … Continue reading Presidents Message – October 2018
Our new Annual Commitment structure sets a base commitment amount as well as commitment levels for a range of income levels. This new structure has raised an interesting question from some of our families. They say that they just don’t ‘use’ the temple that much. They may live far away, or they just don’t choose … Continue reading President’s Message
A strong board of trustees in an essential element of a successful non-profit organization, and we are no exception. Even in the best of times, officers and trustees need to be engaged in both the short and long-term issues that impact their organization. And, when facing a crisis, it is all the more important for … Continue reading President’s Message
Last month I had a chance to spend some extra time with our religious school families, teachers and staff at both the May family service and the teacher appreciation ceremony on the last day of religious school. On both occasions, I was reminded of the amazing effort put forth by our teachers, our madrichim, our … Continue reading President’s Message
I sat in the back at temple on a recent Friday. Not in my usual spot near the front, and not on the bimah; someone else was taking a turn. We were expecting a call from one of our kids, who was coming home for the weekend and would need a ride, so we wanted … Continue reading President’s Message