One of the things you quickly learn when you become president of a synagogue is just how much the majority of the congregation doesn’t see. You see finances and investments, you see the long-neglected back lot full of weeds, you see how much a congregation does for people and how much can be done for it. At the High Holy Days last year, we said “next year we will be back together and life will be back to normal (new normal).” While we did not make it all the way back, we did get one step closer, with those who had honors attending in person. Hopefully, you were able to see this, and it made your viewing pleasure from home that much better than last year. Click here to rewatch the HHDs on our YouTube channel.

You also might not see how much there is to be grateful for. Unless you serve on the board or come to a meeting, you would not see all the wonderful board members, all the committee chairs, and members who continue to keep Temple Sinai and its programs going.

While the building is not yet fully open, if you do come by, you will see new lighting, new technology in the classrooms, and that Mike Stombaugh, Rabbi Benjamin, and Rabbi Sara are an amazing TEAM that continues to keep Temple Sinai running day to day, administratively and spiritually. Thank You!

But there is still so much you may not be able to see. Even some projects that have already transformed our building, are ongoing. We still need to upgrade the lighting in the sanctuary, and funds for that project will make our broadcast services from the sanctuary even better, whether you attend virtually, or if you return when we reopen.

As it is not even so obvious where our needs are, even with something as clear as lighting, there are many needs in the community, some more obvious than others. We have been so fortunate to be able to continue with services, programs, and meeting the community’s needs, throughout the pandemic. None of that could have happened without your support.

We still need your help. The annual HHD appeal is essential to keeping our doors open, for programming, education, and for more much-needed upgrades. I have been very proud of our TS community over the past few years as you have consistently surpassed our fundraising goals. Unfortunately, this new year has started a little slower than normal. Whether you have just not gotten around to writing a check or forgot to go online and click the “donate” button, it is not too late! At the end of the High Holy Days, more non-members had donated than members. It is a testament to the sort of welcome that our community offers, that so many non-members would contribute. Now it is our turn. Whether we have seen ourselves all that this congregation does and means, or if we appreciate all that goes on behind the scenes, now is the time to give. We suggest $180 per family, but truly want you to give what you are comfortable with. There are some of you who can afford to give much much more and there are some who can afford just a little. We ask for $180 per family unit, but again are very appreciative of more or less.

One last item – I want to welcome Terry Levenberg to our TS Board as our new CFO. This also means that we still need a Secretary and two members at large to fill the remaining vacancies. Contact me at if you are interested in serving on the board.

This new year has a lot in store for us all and we will continue to fight forward and contain the spread of COVID-19 together and therefore get us back to our beautiful, bright, and shining building. Vaccinate today!