President's Column - November 2016

I’m sitting in my sukkah this morning, thinking about a lot of things - the beauty of our natural world, the passing of the seasons, the fragility of life, and mostly about gratitude: gratitude for living in a place with such abundance, gratitude for my health and the health of my loved ones, and gratitude for all of you at TBT who made these past High Holy Days so special, who enabled me to "step out of time" and really focus on the work of teshuvah.

Gratitude for the Rabbi, who led us so thoughtfully through our prayer and challenged us so eloquently with her words; gratitude for the Cantor, who led us so beautifully in song, who transported us to places with music and the spaces in between the music; gratitude for our choir, Walter Stutzman our accompanist, Josh Stern our cellist, Patti Smith-Romanski and Chad Hardin, for their beautiful rendition of our Kol Nidrei; gratitude for Jason Gaines, who educated us and revealed to us startling new ways to think about the Torah; gratitude for our beautiful flower arrangement, lovingly donated by members of our congregation; and gratitude for all the readers, chanters, Torah holders and dressers, who in your participation, remind us that teshuvah is indeed a communal act.

I am especially grateful for a number of people who were perhaps less visible to you, but were vital to the successful conduct of our High Holy Day worship, who behind the scenes, or downstairs with the kids, or outside in the parking lot, ensured our safety, comfort, and peace of mind: Douglas Agranov, our lead usher, and his crew - Al Goldberg, Jonathan Levine, and Dick Whelan; our "on-call" medical team, Drs. Dan Greif, Dan Jacoby, John Foggle, and Lynda Rosenfeld, who were ready to provide valuable assistance as needed; Jason Gaines, Suzy Frisch, and Kate Rothstein, who with Karen Goldberg and Stephanie Condoluci (our youth group advisor) and a small batallion of Salty BBYO kids, kept our young ones engaged during our Parallel Youth Services; and Ted Langevin and his crew of parking ushers, including Joel Galvin, Ken Rosenberg, Josh Copel, David Harding, Mark Bluemling, Jack Srebnik, David Sokoloff, John Lesage, Scott Casper, Bill Lee, Phil Goldberg, Walter Spigelman, and David Kaplan, and representatives from the Madison Police Department, who kept us all moving but not colliding; and for the Pauls, Beckmans, Baggishes, Grebels, Zollshans, and Meyers, who ended our fast with an amazing array of yummy Yom Kippur comfort food.

And finally, our absolutely indispensable and dedicated TBT team - Kim Romine, Bonnie Mahon, Len Dwarica, and Dyanna Green, who work so diligently every day to do whatever has to be done whenever it has to be done, with enthusiasm, competence, and grace. You truly enrich our home with your commitment to us.

Stu Weinzimer