State of the Shul

BY SETH SCHAFLER, WJC PRESIDENT

In October, I had the opportunity to present my first “State of the Shul” address to the Trustees. If you want to read it in full it is posted on wjcenter.org. I would like to summarize a few of my observations here:

First, I feel that our Shul is in a strong position. We have successfully gone through a transition of our Senior Rabbi and are poised to move forward to an even stronger future.

In Rabbi Arnowitz, we have a Senior Rabbi who is a great fit for our congregation. I applaud the personal outreach efforts of Rabbi Arnowitz and Tami to get to know members of our community on a personal level. The energy they bring to our congregation is palpable. I look forward to Rabbi Arnowitz’s Installation on December 8 and hope to see you there to celebrate this momentous occasion in the history of our Shul.

I also want to express my appreciation to Rabbi Segelman, both for myself personally and on behalf of the congregation as a whole, for his incredible leadership and teamwork during this transition period. It is not every retiring Senior Rabbi who is prepared to devote himself so selflessly to the needs of the community and the support of his successor. But Rabbi Segelman, once again, has demonstrated his love for our Shul and the extraordinary person he is. We all owe Rabbi Segelman our heartfelt thanks for his continued service and dedication to our community.

In my “State of the Shul” address, I discussed a number of metrics, from membership to the progress of our schools and security upgrades. Suffice it to say that I think we are in a good place in all of these areas, though there are undoubtedly challenges ahead. Among other things, we will be embarking on a search for a third clergy person to join us after Rabbi Segelman retires. We will keep you posted on our progress.

In assessing the strengths of our Shul, I noted our strong senior leadership team, including our Rabbis, Cantor Goldberg, our Executive Director David Goldstein, our school directors, Aleza Kulp and Ann Pardes, and our superintendent Jose Fonseca, who recently celebrated a milestone of 30 years with our Shul. They don’t just make the trains run on time, they make WJC a special place. The continued vibrancy of our community is also demonstrated by the new generation of leaders who are emerging as officers, trustees, heads of committees, and in other areas.

More important than any program, however, is our strong WJC culture of lay leadership, blending innovation with continuity, learning and shalom bayit. It is these values that will keep us strong.

As we look forward to the future, I hope you will all support our Endowment Campaign, which aims to give our future leaders the financial support they need to innovate and meet the challenges of future generations. I thank you in advance for your generosity and support.

Chazak, Chazak, Venitchazek!

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