BY JEFFREY LAVINE, WJC PRESIDENT
This is my last President’s column. It has been an honor and privilege to serve as President of WJC. Let me wish Seth Schafler much luck, success and fulfillment as our next President. When I began my Presidency, I had an idea of goals that I wanted to accomplish. They ranged from continuing initiatives that I worked on with my predecessor, Gail Marcus, to some ideas of my own. You can read my past States of the Synagogue to see how we did. I am proud of our accomplishments over the past three years and I hope you are too.
There is also the other piece of my administration—the unexpected. In preparing for the Presidency, I didn’t expect to search for a new Executive Director, ECC Director, Teen Engagement Director and, of course, Senior Rabbi! I have to thank the chairs, committee members, officers, trustees, and congregation for their tremendous involvement in all of these searches. I wanted transparency and input from the congregation to be a priority. I think we succeeded in that goal. One of the things that I am most proud of in my presidency is that we came through the searches closer as a community.
There are so many people to thank, too many for one article. But a few stand out. I apologize to anyone whom I may have unintentionally omitted. I truly value your involvement. First, I thoroughly enjoyed working with the congregants and lay leaders. Seeing the shul through different lenses, how WJC resonates with us in various ways, how we want to contribute to the synagogue, and what gives us a sense of satisfaction was not eye-opening, but rather reaffirming to me. Special thanks to the officers and trustees for their commitment in shaping the direction of WJC and committing untold hours to our shul. Thank you Ann Pardes, Aleza Kulp, and Adam Bender for your incredible commitment to enriching our children’s Jewish education. Of course, Jose-Luis Fonseca and his staff keep the building running and are a pleasure to work with. His dedication is unsurpassed. And Patrice, Florence, and the kitchen staff make each Shabbat and simcha extra special. The office and communication staffs always have an urgent project that needs getting done and I thank them for doing it.
Lastly, I have worked with the clergy closely over the years. As President, my involvement with them has been elevated a level. Clearly, Rabbi Segelman, Cantor Goldberg, and Rabbi Yolkut have a passion for what they do. It is inspiring to watch up close and I thank them for letting me be a part of it. I save David Goldstein for last. As President, one works most closely with the Executive Director. I had the pleasure of being the first President to work with and get to know David. We are in excellent and caring hands. I thoroughly enjoyed having David as a partner these last two years.
I look forward to seeing you in synagogue. Have a wonderful summer and thank you again for this honor of a lifetime to serve WJC.