I never thought I’d be composing another President’s Message for the Temple Shalom Bulletin; it seems like one of those “déjà vu all over again” moments. But it is an opportunity to reach out and share some thoughts with all of you.
This is a time of year when we are all caught up in change and reflection. The seasons are changing, the school year is beginning, and we take the time to reflect on the past year and the one coming up as we prepare for and participate in the High Holidays and the festivals that follow. Change and reflection seem to be common themes at Temple Shalom. Before writing this article, I looked back at some of the President’s Messages I had written over a decade ago and what struck me was how often I was writing about change in our Temple. Probably the biggest change for us this year is welcoming our new rabbi, Allan Finkel. Although we have had a number of wonderful student and ordained rabbis at Temple Shalom in the intervening years, this is the first time since the early 2000’s that we are fortunate enough to have a rabbi who makes his permanent home in Winnipeg. Allan is also our first “home grown” rabbi, someone who has been part of Temple Shalom for almost 3 decades. But this is not our only change, we have new board members, our first “triplet” presidency, our first engagement coordinator, the impressive plaques recognizing our many past presidents, the completion of an amazing capital campaign and visible and invisible upgrades to the building.
These changes also mean big thank-yous to everyone who worked so hard at Temple Shalom the past year, especially Rabbi Bill Tepper, now past-president Linda Freed, outgoing board members and the leaders of the Capital Campaign. In the midst of all this change, we are grateful that Cantor Len Udow, Choir Director, Janet Goetz, the rest of our staff, AND ALL OF YOU continue to be part of what makes Temple Shalom such a wonderful community. In fact, Temple Shalom is not just a community, we are in many ways a family. And like a family, members provide their love and support to each other as we experience losses and celebrate simchas.
I hope you are all rested and refreshed after our beautiful summer and have lots of energy for our very exciting year to come. We are planning lots of new initiatives along with all the things that already make the Temple such a great place. Thank you to those of you who have filled out our survey and I invite those of you who haven’t, to do so. We hope that all the activity at the Temple will help each of us strengthen connections with our community, make new friends, learn something new, and get involved with something we never thought of doing before. Please get involved; I look forward to seeing you often this year at Temple Shalom.
L’Shana Tova. May this be a year of health, happiness and peace.