Part of the upcoming week’s Torah portion, Vayishlach (Genesis 32:4−36:43), describes Jacob’s midnight struggles with “a man” and his reconciliation with his brother Esau the next day. As president of your Sinai Board of Trustees, I have to admit to lying awake some nights, struggling with my own thoughts. What have I allowed to fall through the cracks? What promises have I broken? Who have I ignored, or slighted? I have no one to blame but myself for this nocturnal wrestling. Becoming more active in Sinai, I’m not really missing any more sleep – I always worried about such things in regard to my family life, and my job. It does not help that I am spending enough of my time on Sinai business, that I feel I don’t have enough time for reflection, worship, and learning at Sinai.

But more and more, as I work through my second year as president, thoughts of gratitude rapidly calm my nighttime mental grappling. Your Sinai Board of Trustees is very active; the officers are all extending themselves and doing an amazing job. With the Board taking its job so seriously, being president is actually easy. There are many things needing doing that I don’t know how to do- but someone else on the Board or a committee is already doing it, and figuring out how to do it better. Rabbi Benjamin and Rabbi Sara are showing great leadership qualities- taking things on, suggesting directions and priorities, and taking suggestions themselves. It is really a privilege to work with them, and with Mike Stombaugh, Sinai’s bedrock. Temple Sinai does not “run itself,” but with all these amazing people pitching in, I do not have to run it myself.

I need to give special recognition to a couple of our hard-working volunteers, Jill Flanzraich and Michael Gorden. I have been able to delegate many of the tasks of volunteer and committee coordination to Jill. Her generous help has been essential! She is much more organized than I am. Michael has been working very hard maintaining and improving our building and grounds. He has spent lots of time recently working on Sinai’s security arrangements and facilities, on top of jobs like renovating Rabbi Sara’s office, and several classrooms. I am deeply grateful for every day that Michael doesn’t burn out and quit. So, if you have any time, interest, or skills in maintenance, security, schlepping, or anything handy, from weeding to operating the sound systems, Michael needs your help. Sinai needs your help. Just leave a message for Michael at the Temple office, 747-5508. Thanks!