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We Are Just Getting Started

06/10/2021 08:38:32 AM

Jun10

Rabbi Brad Levenberg

What a difference a week makes!

Just one week ago, when our Shabbat to Shabbat was reaching your inbox, we formally dedicated our Lonnie Cooper Outdoor Chapel. A structure that is visually stunning and wonderfully inspiring, the moment of its dedication was accented by the setting of the sun…which made the space appear and feel even more incredible. It is exciting indeed to imagine what will happen in that space, at that place – the many lifecycle events we will celebrate, the many individuals we will honor, and the moments that are made significant simply because of the setting: a quiet moment alone for contemplation or a luncheon in a beautiful setting.

This past weekend provided me an opportunity to share, as our Scholar in Residence, the research that I completed and the accompanying findings that shaped my dissertation. From walks down memory lane to shared stories about the venerated rabbis I explored, together we learned, we laughed, and we identified some of the many ways that the stories of yesterday are still so very relevant to the chapters we write today.

This past Friday night was our first Shabbat evening since March 2020, when the seats in the sanctuary were occupied with the members of this amazing community. What a joy to hear each other sing the familiar melodies, to greet each other with waves, with elbows, with hugs. Some in attendance were masked and some were not in accordance with their vaccination status and comfort level. And you know what? We made – and make – such a striking community together.

On Sunday we commemorated our 53rd Annual Meeting. We made necessary changes to our bylaws and we heard reports related to the budget, the campus, and the realms of spiritual and educational life at Sinai. We recognized caring and devoted members of our community – Cathy Gottlieb, Jon Barry, and Jamah Maman – the former two winning the Ner Tamid Award for their efforts steering The Lonnie Cooper Outdoor Chapel from dream to reality and the latter receiving the President’s Award for her exemplary, inspiring, and compassionate leadership of our Temple Sinai Preschool throughout this last most challenging year. We recognized our outgoing leadership and offered appreciation for their efforts and installed a new Board of Trustees to help guide us ever closer to our North Star. And we honored our (now) Immediate Past President, Lynn Redd, for her leadership throughout these last two years and welcomed our (now) congregational President Adam Mayer to his leadership post. From strength to strength indeed.

And we opened our new playground, The Mercaz, and we celebrated a Bar Mitzvah (Mazel Tov Kessler Family) and we said goodbye to a dear friend (Mike Vaughn, may you be recalled for blessing).

And with all of that, what is truly amazing is… we are just getting started. Imagine what NEXT WEEK will bring.

Shabbat Shalom,

Brad

Wed, December 1 2021 27 Kislev 5782