Posted on May 4, 2017 by Rabbi Arnold S. Gluck
With this, the last edition of the Shofar for 2016/17, we can look back with satisfaction and pride on what has een a very full and fulfilling year at Temple Beth-El and note with gratitude the great efforts of those who have led our community. It is especially appropriate to do this now as we come to the end of one temple administration and prepare to inaugurate a new one at our annual congregational meeting on June 12.
Among our many great leaders, we have been especially blessed to be led for the last two years by Robin Osman, who is one of the most talented, energetic, and dedicated temple presidents we have had at TBE. Robin is a connector. She reaches out to connect with people and helps them to connect with the community and with Jewish life. Under her leadership our efforts to be more relational have advanced significantly, largely because of the great example she sets. Whether it is through social action, adult learning, reading Torah, participating in worship, celebrating holy days, or joining together for fun social occasions, when Robin finds something that excites her, she jumps in with both feet and brings others along to share the experience. Good leaders inspire, encourage and support others to be leaders, and Robin has excelled at this. Her style is highly collaborative, and this has helped her to attract many talented and creative people to serve and support our congregation in all kinds of ways. At a time when there is much talk of how civic life is suffering from a decline in volunteerism, we have seen a marked increase in involvement at TBE, due in significant measure to Robin’s efforts and example.
Speaking personally, and for the rest of the professional staff, Robin has been a great partner for us. She makes us feel valued and supported, and encourages us to do and be our best in all that we do to serve the community. At TBE we have always seen the relationship between lay and professional leaders as a sacred partnership, and no one has done more to exemplify this than Robin. Robin, todah rabbah for all you have done for us, and for being such an inspiring and effective leader. We look forward to the many contributions you will yet make to our community in the years ahead.
One of the many accomplishments of Robin’s admin-istration has been the revision of our constitution to embrace a new governance model. The implementation of this new structure will be in the very capable hands of our next temple president, Jay Lavroff, and his leadership team. Jay has a proven track record of exemplary service to our congregation, having served as vice-president and ritual chair, having chaired multiple professional search committees, and so much more. With Jay at the head of our lay leadership, we have much to look forward to in the coming year and beyond.
I want to express my admiration, respect and gratitude to my super-talented co-workers, our professional staff. It is hard to imagine a more dedicated, hard-working, talented, kind and caring group of synagogue professionals than Cantor Emily Pincus, Sarah Gluck, Lisa Friedman, Amy Rubin and Rachel Frish. Their love for our community and for each of its members, their love of Judaism and their service to God and to our people is inspired and inspiring. We are so very lucky to have them, and I am personally grateful to them beyond words for their partnership in our sacred work.
As I write these words, there are still many exciting opportunities that lie ahead in the coming two months. We will celebrate the confirmation of a wonderful class of 10th graders on Friday evening June 2. On Tuesday evening, May 30, we will cap off a year of strong partnership with our broader Jewish community by sharing a Shavuot celebration at Temple Sholom in Bridgewater. And on Thursday evening, May 11, we will share an evening of learning, prayer, food and fellowship with the Muslim Center of Somerset County and Imam Chebli of the Islamic Society of Central Jersey. Of course, our joyful weekly Shabbat services continue throughout the summer every Friday at 8:00 p.m.
Thank you all for being part of our TBE family!.
Rabbi Arnold S. Gluck
Originally published in the May-June 2017 issue of the Shofar. For more issues of the Shofar, visit the Shofar archives.