As I prepared to become president of Temple Solel, I had the privilege of attending the Scheidt Seminar for incoming temple presidents. The four day course sponsored by the Union for Reform Judaism, gave over 150 Reform synagogue presidents information about temple functions, congregant engagement, philanthropy, diversity and inclusion, and networking opportunities. Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President of the URJ, in his keynote address, said when we serve on the board of our synagogues we are forming sacred partnerships. This is a commitment to building and nurturing relationships that recognizes each of us as individuals and our desire to inspire sacred action in our communities. Sacred partnerships are built and nurtured through the Jewish values of mutual respect, trust, honesty, listening and communication, transparency, confidentiality, flexibility, reflection, empathy, and vulnerability.
טֹובִים הַשְּׁנַיִם מִן הָאֶחָד
Toveem ha’shnayim min ha’echad
Two are better off than one…
As I begin this journey with you let us build sacred partnerships together, partnerships and deepening friendships among temple members, the temple board, our teachers, dedicated staff, beloved clergy and our Executive Director, and let’s together embrace the mission of Temple Solel—to be a vibrant, inclusive and engaged Reform community, grounded in relationships and deeds, and elevated by Shabbat and Torah. We see the divine spark in each individual by together:
- Warmly welcoming all who enter
- Nurturing lifelong learning
- Creating joy through prayer and music
- Celebrating holidays and sharing life cycles
- Fostering a love of Israel, and
- Working for tikkun olam—repairing the world
I’m looking forward to building strong partnerships with Temple Solel’s Board members, those who are remaining on the board and those who are now joining. Our
Executive Committee will include Phil Hawkes-Treasurer, Eve Danoff-Secretary, Lauren Brown-VP Education, Larry Cohen-VP Facilities and Security, Brian Weinberger-VP Legal Affairs and Contracts, Howard Rosen-VP Development, and Madelaine Berg-VP Membership. Remaining Board members are Eric Mininberg and Robert Lipson and newly elected Board members are Becky Lieberman, Dottie Braun Cohen, Phylis Bolno, Jennet Kirkpatrick, Laura Miller, Risa Jacobson, and Stephanie Cherny.
One sacred partnership that has been key to me this past year is my partnership with Doreen Feldberg. She has been a mentor and friend who has generously and patiently brought me up to speed on many varied aspects of Temple Solel. She will be continuing on the board as immediate past president and co-chair of the Personnel Committee and I thank her for her dedication and leadership.
I also want to acknowledge those who have served Temple Solel and are now leaving the board—Bettina Chow, Bobbi Moss, Larry Fink, Judy Gold, Lisa Lerner, and Steve Slogoff. This past year has been one of unforeseen challenges and thanks to the dedication of these volunteers we have come through a difficult time together.
As we move forward I am hoping to form many more sacred partnerships within the Solel community and would love to hear from you. My email address is: email@example.com or you can set up a one-on-one Zoom meeting at https://calendly.com/rae-rader/rae-s-one-on-one.
As we begin this journey together, let us nurture our sacred partnerships, elevating our work to a level of holiness for the benefit of Temple Solel. Help us build and nurture the Jewish values of respect, trust, transparency, confidentiality, empathy, and forgiveness.
Help us keep our Jewish values at the front of hard conversations and difficult decisions, and remember that our job is to care for our temple but also for one another.
Temple Solel Board President