President's Column - October 2016

We are right in it now. As this column reaches you we will probably already have spent the evening together for Erev Rosh HaShanah, and perhaps the morning as well. I wonder if Rosh HaShanah calls to mind for you what it always does for me: the great duality of our calendar. On the one hand, the circle of the year: the seasons change, and we roll around to begin the cycle again. But on the other hand, the linearity of time; we are writing our own history, both individually and collectively, and while each year reassures with the opportunity for a "fresh start," it also reminds us, warns us, that time is passing, and with it, opportunities.

It seems a fitting time for me to reflect on our accomplishments this past year as a community, and our ongoing challenges. There were joyous and hopeful times: we welcomed new families, celebrated life cycle events, prayed, and learned together. We helped a Syrian family negotiate an arduous move to a new home on the Shoreline. Our amazing clergy and staff have led us, supported us, and cared for us. Our Board has wrestled with and agreed on, policies and procedures designed to foster inclusiveness, safeguard our financial future, and live the principles of Reform Judaism in all our interactions. But we have also missed opportunities as well: failed to connect with some in our community who continue to feel alone, isolated, unwelcome, or uninvited. We have missed opportunities to grow, either spiritually, ethically, or interpersonally. We have had wonderful ideas but have not always delivered on them.

TBT is, as we all are, a "work in progress." While we can’t roll back the time we have lost, we can use the opportunity presented by the New Year to commit to our goals of making TBT a place where you feel connected, engaged, sometimes challenged, and always welcomed. With your help, we will continue this work together.

L’Shanah Tovah Tikateivu - May you and your loved ones be written in the Book of Life for a good New Year.

Stu Weinzimer