As we begin our new year at Temple Ner Tamid, and a new chapter in the life of TNT, it is my privilege to continue serving as President and giving my time to a place that I, like so many of you, care so much about.
In the early part of this past year, we featured our new Mission Statement which was derived from the self-evaluation process we undertook as part of our transition. Our mission is to inspire our members to make our community more curious, connected and just. And, we’ve done just that. Jewish scholars, an expert on the history of Jews in film, and a journalist who explored the role of religion in American presidential politics satisfied our members’ intellectual curiosity. Purimspiel, membership Shabbat and a large Adult B’nai Mitzvah class connected us one to the other. We became a Supporting Sanctuary Synagogue and so many of us said Hineini, answering the call of neighbors in need, and did our best to make the world whole.
As we move into the new year at TNT, let’s continue to be our mission. An Israel committee has formed to answer members’ desire to learn more about Israel and make it an ongoing part of our lives; an Inclusion Task Force is working to make our building and programs open, accessible and inviting to all people, including those who have physical or emotional challenges. We are committed to be not just inclusive but embracing so that everyone, regardless of color, age, sexual identification or ability is valued as an essential part of the larger organization. Especially given the times in which we find ourselves, let’s commit to not only serving those in our immediate reach but to advocating for more widespread change that will improve the lives of many. And let’s not be bound by the physical walls of our precious building but rather go into the community to connect with anyone seeking a spiritual, ritual or communal Jewish experience. Our members have described our synagogue as welcoming, diverse and musical; a place where we connect with our past while thinking progressively about the future. Who wouldn’t want to be part of that Jewish home?
While the mission is to inspire our members, it is up to us to actually make it happen. So, let’s get to work.
Kenneth Cohen, President
Phyllis Berman, First Vice President
Marty Baum, VP for Communications
Debbie Kravitz, VP for Early Childhood
Peri Smilow, VP for Education
Eric Fox, VP Finance
Larry Unger, VP for House & Administration
Diane Lavenda, VP for Membership
Mindy Propper, VP for Planning & Development
Josh Katz, VP for Religious Living
Fred Pressman, VP for Tikkun Olam