President’s Corner: Looking Back

This is the last edition of The Review before the summer hiatus. As such, it is a time to look back on the year and reflect. I am finishing my second year as President. I continue to marvel at and appreciate the dedication of our many lay leaders, clergy, and community.

I perused my columns for the year to give me ideas to share with you. As expected, family and community remain two important themes. But, I also found the idea of connectivity and reaching out to people in our community in different manners to be important Whether it is davening on Shabbat or Israeli Dancing and movie nights, gallery openings, speakers, Torah learning, Renewal Service, basketball, speakers, Scholar-in-Residence, Project Ezra, the Purim Carnival or the Purimshpiel, to name only a few, we constantly try to create connections for our community.

Our efforts have gone beyond the walls of our sanctuary. Over the last couple of years, Rabbi Yolkut has had Pop–Up Rabbi at Stan’z. This year we started a Shabbat dinner program in people’s homes. The most important consideration was offering a warm feeling of inclusion along with blessings over the wine, challah, and candles. The rest was as social or religious as the group wanted. We are constantly trying to keep WJC relevant in our daily lives. It can require innovation. With that in mind, among a number of reasons, we are going to begin conducting parlor meetings and one-on-one discussions to make sure we are innovating along the right paths for the future.

We had quite a month. For starters, we had our students graduate. Mazel Tov on what you have accomplished. Let WJC be part of your future journey. To our high school students moving on to college, we wish you luck, look forward to keeping in touch and hope to see you soon. Rhythm and Ruach was very special. We had a family service, dinner, adult services outside under the stars and then an engaging speaker, Jessica Tamar Deutsch, telling us about how she came to create an illustrated Pirket Avot book as a tool for learning. Thank you, Pam Mizrachi, our clergy, and band of musical players for making the evening so wonderful.

And thank you to our librarian, Arlene Ratzabi, for bringing to us such an interesting speaker. The Spring Gala was terrific, thanks to the hard work of a dedicated committee led by our Chair, Meira Fleisch, our Journal Chair Sherry Thaler and Monica Barach working on Raffles, and Evan Schapiro on communications. Mazel Tov again to the Tolchinskys and Gerszbergs.

Lastly, we had robust learning on Shavuot for our entire community, led by Rabbi Yolkut. Thank you to Rabbi Yolkut and all of the volunteers who helped our community learn a little.

Have a great summer!

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