Four years, yes four years! Where did it go? It flew by so quickly that it is hard to pin down everything that has transpired over this time. Of Course, it has been a bumpy ride with the public health emergency taking over all our lives and making today, and the future, look very different on how we all feel about our own health. I know the long road has brought struggles in decisions the board has made with the back and forth of protecting ourselves vs. protecting others. I believe that Temple Sinai’s leadership has proven to have made the best decisions available to all of us at each level.

As your board president the past four years, I know that I have not met everyone’s needs throughout. I apologize sincerely if you have felt that way. When I stepped into this role, I could never have imagined how different life would be getting us through the Covid crisis and each new continuing strain of the virus. Most of the time, my focus had to be keeping the doors open and retaining our Rabbinic team. Everyone lost the ability to connect and be together, and that was no different for me. While it is exciting that we are making progress toward returning to the way things were before the COVID-19 pandemic, I think that many of us are still grappling with feelings of disconnection and difficulty. All I can ask is that we acknowledge that none of us are superheroes and that we all experience this same sense of longing. We must strive to be part of more face-to-face gatherings and identify moments where we can regain our sense of normalcy… together!

As we get ready for the upcoming Annual Congregational Meeting followed by our Temple Sinai Mitzvah Day on May 21st, I ask that you find the strength to join me in all the pride that I have for our “House” — this building we hold sacred — Temple Sinai. Our Mitzvah Day will include a blood drive to help our community, the clean up of our adopted park, and the cleanup of our Temple grounds.

One of my long-term goals has been to make progress in the area known as our “back 40.” Thanks to the diligent efforts of our Sinai School Director, Alisha Moss, we have finally crafted a robust plan that we can confidently begin with. A playground with seating for our families is the ideal way to begin the first phase. Alisha is working hard to acquire community grants to obtain most of the funding for this project. To start out, we need to have the open property graded, leveled, and set for appropriate drainage. The plan is to bring down the east side of the area by about three feet and to use that dirt to bring all the low spots up and make everything more level. This will require adding a three-foot retaining wall to the east side. The cost of grading, leveling, and drainage is just around $80,000. When you come into the building, you will see some fundraising goals for projects on the wall opposite the bathrooms.

It is my hope to see all of you soon. As I step into the role of 1st Vice President for our board, I am committed to persistently pursuing the goal of creating a welcoming, secure, and pleasurable environment in our “House” for all.