In writing my final article as Shul President, I looked back at my first bulletin article from2017 and thought about all the changes we have seen in the last 4 years.
If back in 2017 I would have predicted that we would have as we saw this past Friday night participants in services from Mexico, New Jersey, and Phoenix, the board probably would have insisted that I go in for a drug screen or mental counseling! As we are about to move back to in-person services, I feel we are at a point where we will all re-think what truly defines being a Kehilla.
Four years ago in my article, I spoke of the amount of young energy with new members,financial long-range planning to ensure long term stability, and to assess the changing demographics of our Jewish community to be sure that we are delivering the “product”needed for our Jewish community.
I still feel our future is extremely bright with the “young energy” of the next generation of members. We have an obligation to understand their needs and help develop them as our future leaders. We must be open to new ideas and not have a mindset of “that is not the way it is done” when a younger member moving into leadership wants to attempt something which may seem totally different from the way we have handled things in the past.
We have made progress with having a balanced operating budget over the last couple of years. That said, we still have a good bit of work to do in this area to assure our long-term financial stability.
I feel prior to the start of the pandemic, we had made very good progress with delivery of a mix of “products,” services/programming to meet our diverse membership. With what we have learned during the pandemic, we need to re-think the variety of ways to include online participation in our services and programming. Online participation offers us great opportunity to grow the participation of our out-of-town members and potentially new members that may reside anywhere in the world.
I want to thank my Board for the last 2 years who have had to re-learn on the fly how to coordinate the variety of duties required in handling the task of running a Shul while not meeting in person.
I especially thank you Aaron, Sharona, and Zohar for going above and beyond to transition in handling the services online and their involvement and assistance with religious school. They found ways to make our programs and weekly services interesting and engaging to all our members. None of what occurred over the last year and a half would have been possible without you!!
Lastly, thank you to my wife and family during the last 4 years as I served as President.Thank you for your patience and feedback and always being there.
Evan “Elmo” Koplin