I’ve been asking myself, “when did we Jews not live in perilous times?” As a friend said to me the other day, there was a brief ‘moment’ over the past few decades (in spite of incidents in some places) when we felt that the world was starting to see the light, to know that humans should treat each other as humans, not as enemies because of race, religion or colour. But that moment has ended with the swift scaling up of violence in recent years and we are hard-pressed to accept the new reality.
At Temple Shalom we have been keeping our doors locked for over two years, as a first defense against unknown and potentially vindictive assailants. We have recently received funding from the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba and the Government of Canada to upgrade our Closed-Circuit monitoring system as well as improve the lighting and other security aspects of our building. All of this requires extra time, money and staff to make it work.
We are meeting today with our security consultant to review plans for going ahead with installation of new equipment, and to discuss training for staff, volunteers and congregants. I live in hope that we will never have to defend ourselves against a violent occurrence – but I do feel responsible to ensure that we do our best to be prepared.
We have some wonderful events planned in the months of May and June, as you will see in this Bulletin. I hope you will take the time to come along: you can sing and pray with us, make new friends, have some fun, learn new things and celebrate our place in the world – it’s our responsibility to carry on, and never forget.
This is my last Bulletin message to you as your President. It’s been an incredible, wonderful experience getting to know more of you: I’ve loved working with the amazing clergy we are so lucky to have – first with Rabbi Karen Soria and now with Rabbi Bill Tepper and our Cantorial Soloist Len Udow; and of course the many people who have served on the Board of Directors, and our excellent staff. I’m not leaving, but my role will change. Thank you for your support through the years.
Shalom chaverim. May you live in peace.