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September 2017 President's Message

Truth be known, I believe firmly in the mystical. The last four fortunes in fortune cookies that I have received over the past month or so read as follows: You have firm convictions – stand strong behind them. All things are difficult before they are easy. Someone is looking up to you, don’t let that person down. Focus on your long-term goal – don’t hesitate to act now.

So I realize that fortune cookies, in the same way as horoscopes, can be general enough to apply to everyone. That’s how they’re written. However, I also don’t exactly believe in coincidences, especially when there are a multitude. So I choose to believe that there is a personal message here, and I will act accordingly. I figure that even if it is a coincidence, that these messages are good ones and I have nothing to lose by following their wisdom.

Change is in the air and I would be remiss not to report on how many changes there have been since I last wrote to you. Jessica Wax has moved on to a position elsewhere and we wish her well. Most don’t realize how much she has done for us in her many years here and the amazing legacy and direction she has left for us to follow. We will still have the opportunity to see her as a valued congregant of Kol Rinah.

We have eliminated the paid position of Executive Director and these functions are now performed by our lay leaders Barbara Shamir and Mitch Shenker. A host of dedicated and committed lay leaders along with Micki Kingsley and our 5 full time paid amazing staff keep things running smoothly. We thank David Weber for all he has done for us over the past three years and wish him well in future endeavors.

Our administration office and Rabbis’ offices have moved upstairs to the former youth lounge areas. With the invaluable full time work and knowledge of Eli Sadon, we have saved roughly $35,000 in electrical engineering and computer fees. This job evolved into so much more than anticipated. We cannot thank Eli enough for all he has contributed.

Baruch HaShem that Meir Zimand’s wife Rachel is on the mend. We are so fortunate for the personal and professional work that Meir, Nancy Greene and Rico Crane provide to keep us running efficiently. Micki Kingsley, our full time office volunteer and Sisterhood President, keeps so many balls in the air that I don’t know how she does so very much.

While I’m in the mode of thanking people, I continue to be impressed by Liz Collins and Elyse Picker in their direction of our Early Childhood Center and their talented staff and devotion to building the best Early Childhood Center in the region.

Rabbi Scott Shafrin, Ellen Cohen and a group of committed families have spent the summer rewriting our religious school curriculum. I can’t wait to see what the future brings. Our Youth Director, Sara Steiner, LCSW, has added social media administration to her portfolio and does a great deal in building our USY program and supporting our youth. She is always willing to lend a hand of support, no matter the task.

We are working with a Development professional to aid our fundraising campaign and had an amazing dinner presentation at the home of Drs. Debbie Zimmerman and Jon Root. We thank them along with our fabulous Capital Campaign leaders, Maurice Guller, Bill Solomon, Penny Alper and Sue Cort, as well as our marvelous committee. Stay tuned for upcoming programs in the works.

Our Facilities Committee is also working overtime wth our talented architects, Patterhn Ives, who seem to be making the impossible, possible. Thanks to Dave Cooperstein, Sue Albert and Dan Rosenthal for their leadership and expertise for which we could never afford to pay.

Sunday, August 27 is our Kosher Barbecue which will be even better than our great event last year. We’ve invited the Journey Community as well as the Moslem Community who are excited to join us and enjoy Kosher food including an option for Ribeye steak this year! Thanks to Esti Goldman for leading this event.

I could not ask for a better Kol Rinah partner than our Board Chair, Sherri Sadon. There are no words to adequately express her commitment and leadership (and everyone knows I have lots of words!). Thanks also to Rabbi Noah Arnow for his spiritual direction, commitment and enthusiasm even late at night when we’re struggling to do our best to meet the needs of our diverse community. Also thanks to my husband, Larry Friedman who is my guiding light and understands better than most, the demands and intricacies of Shul leadership, as I spent our third wedding anniversary at Kol Rinah from 5:00 to 11:00 pm.

Thanks to our Coordinating Committee (100% attendance at our July nearly 3 hour meeting), and our Board of Directors for all you do. Thanks to our congregants for your participation, your support and your tolerance as we all adapt to changes.

We are fortunate to have a community that is willing to pitch in and get the work done. Congregants have donated their professional expertise, their financial support and literally, blood, sweat and tears to building a spiritual havurah that enriches our lives. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to partner with the most amazing people every day. My life is better by serving Kol Rinah. Come join us.

And on a personal note, yes, I’ve moved to my new home.

Fri, December 13 2019 15 Kislev 5780