This is my twenty-fifth (counting the first term) and, for certain, final “President’s Message.” I am stepping down in favor of an energetic and talented congregant, one with whom I’ve worked closely since May in preparation for this transition. I believe that Renee Sevy-Hasterok is exceptionally well-prepared to assume the presidency of TKC, and I thank in advance our entire congregation for the support I know she’ll have, just as I have enjoyed. We are fortunate indeed to have Renee, her husband, Rod, and their family as part of our community.
If we have accomplished anything these past seven months – and, as I noted last month, I think we have – the credit goes not to me but to the many great people around me. I am grateful to our clergy, staff, my fellow Board members, and our many volunteers for their support; to my family for again “sharing” me with the temple; and, especially, for the constant backing of my co-congregants. You conferred upon me an honor that I always tried to take both seriously and humbly. In my new capacity as immediate past president, I look forward to working with Renee and the Board so we may continue our momentum.
So now, on the eve of our temple’s 30th Anniversary, it’s my honor and pleasure to share the remainder of this space with Renee so she can “introduce” herself.
Thank you, Tim, for ten years of exceptional leadership and service to this kehillah.
As we enter our kehillah’s historic 30th year, my first order of business is to introduce myself to the congregation that I call home.
I truly believe that every day we are placed in situations that challenge us to live up to our ideals. That was exactly what happened last spring when I picked up the Kol Kehillah, just as you are now, and read Rabbi Winokur’s powerful words. He wrote that he was struck by the fact that the Nominating Committee was about to send out the proposed slate and that the position of president and executive vice president were both blank. The next part of what he wrote resonated with me for days: “We need to think together about what it means to build community, and about how one's personal identity is tied up with being part of that community.”
Now, I have always felt very connected to the Jewish community, whether it be through involvement as a teenager with BBYO, or as an adult with Women’s American ORT and the American Jewish Committee’s Black-Jewish Coalition. I know how much the Jewish community has enriched my life over the years, but as I read the Rabbi’s words that day as a relatively new member of this kehillah, I realized that it was a sense of community that I was truly seeking for myself and my family. When I put down the newsletter and really thought about the idea of community, something clicked. The community I was hoping to have was right here, waiting for someone to step up. And I realized then that that someone could be me.
I am excited to begin this incredible journey with all of you. I hope that during my term as President, we can strengthen what we have here at TKC, continue to build something meaningful and lasting, and most importantly, enjoy the journey as we build the kind of community that we all want. We are fortunate to have such a solid foundation and rich history to build on. I truly look forward to every new experience as we enter the kehillah’s 30th year.
On behalf of my husband, Rod, and our children, Julia, Alex, Shane, Lauren and