President's Column - January 2018

Shalom. In contrast to the cold, snowy weather as I’m writing this in mid-December, I have experienced the warmth of several wonderful community events this month. Our TBT communal Chanukah dinner and service - attended by about 150 congregants, including many children - was a joy to behold, and our Mitzvah Day at religious school was equally uplifting. The collective spirit of our children at these events warmed up the coldest days.

An even bigger gathering was the Biennial conference for the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), where I spent a few days in Boston in early December with over 5,000 fellow Reform Jews from across the United States and Canada (including seven of us from TBT!). If there was ever any question about the spirit and vibrancy of Reform Judaism, going to Biennial will dispel those doubts. (You will all have another chance two years from now in Chicago!) Among all the learning sessions, talks, services, and entertainment was an important sermon by URJ President Rick Jacobs discussing the growth of Reform Judaism in Israel and the determined fight to ensure its rightful place in Israeli society and law, along with useful perspectives on the status of Jerusalem and the West Bank.

Closer to home, we will have an important opportunity to learn about our exciting synagogue building project, and its current status and options, at a congregational meeting scheduled for Sunday morning, March 11th. Please follow the progress of our project in the monthly update in Shofar newsletter and put the March 11th gathering on your calendars.

- Jeff Babbin