President’s Remarks from the Congregational Meeting


Congregational Meeting Remarks – June 2014

Andrew Joskow, President

I would like to bring you up to date on events since the prior “official” Congregational Meeting in December 2013:

First, the task force appointed by the Executive Committee to look at the administrative structure of the Religious School, and to make recommendations for the future, reported to the Board in February. The task force included our VP of Education, Ellice Halpern and our Director of Life Long Learning, Cantor Allen Leider, as co-­‐chairs, and five congregant parents. The outline of the plan included a partnership between Allen Leider, our Director of Lifelong Learning and a single Principal of the Religious School. That structure would oversee staff specialists including a Religious School program coordinator, a Teen Educator, and a system of lead teachers. We appointed a transition team, led by Sam Klein, to begin the process by hiring the Principal, or now renamed Director of the Religious school. After interviewing a number of candidates, Dara Holop, currently our Director of Congregational Engagement was selected for this position. We are very excited to have someone of Dara’s background to help us bring the school to new levels. We are also pleased that Danielle Heyman Feist has agreed to help out and fill-­‐in as interim Director of Congregational Engagement through the fall, until a more permanent successor can be found.

Second, we completed our search for an Assistant Cantor. The search committee, chaired by Cory Amron and Curt Ritter, interviewed a number of candidates. Two candidates were invited to the Temple to audition and to meet members of our congregation, the clergy, and staff. As you may have seen in the Connection and the e-­‐letter, we selected Cantor Rachel Rhodes. Cantor Rhodes was officially ordained at Hebrew Union College in May, and will begin at TRS on July 1. In searching for another full-­‐time clergy we looked for someone who fit many of the criteria that came up during meetings with the Board and the Congregation – someone with a passion for teaching, working with youth, and pastoral work for all ages. And, of course, in the case of a Cantor, a passion for music was critical. We think that Rachel fits all of these needs. Rachel will be jumping right in, as she will be part one of the co-­‐leaders of the family Israel trip this summer. We look forward to the possibilities that are opened by having another full-­‐time clergy member.

Third, we continued the search for a Director of Development – a title that we changed for clarity purposes to Director of Philanthropy. After several job postings, a few possible candidates came forward, but the committee did not feel that any of them fit our needs. But earlier this year, one of the committee co-­‐chairs, Hannah Moore, stepped forward to be interviewed for the position. Hannah was put through the same interview process as any other candidate. The search committee, chaired by Bob Schlossberg, recommended Hannah highly for the position. Subsequently, the Board received her candidacy with unanimous approval. Hannah is a past-­‐President of TRS, a TRS Trustee,
a URJ Board Member, and has 15 years experience in the Development in the non-­‐profit world. She has a passion for the Temple and for Congregation. We all look forward to working with Hannah as she guides us on our future development work.

The last item I will mention is the property at 2110 Westmoreland St. We negotiated a contract for purchase of the property with Mr. Jack Taylor in March. The Congregation approved terms of that contract at a special meeting on April 9. I can now report that we closed on the purchase of the property this past Thursday, June 5. It is now ours. The immediate next steps will be to clear the property and allow it to return to its natural state. We have signed a contract for the demolition, but you may not see immediate action as will take a little time to get proper permits and deal with appropriate utility cutoffs. This investment will give the Temple options in the future when and if we would like to expand our physical infrastructure. I want to especially thank Barry Holt who resuscitated the dream of owning the property in 2011, and who worked with me this time around when Mr. Taylor became interested in selling again. A thank you also goes to Susan and Paul Abramson, who had a personal relationship with Jack Taylor that helped solidify our contact with him.

This is my final Congregational Meeting as President of TRS. It has been the opportunity of a lifetime and I am grateful to the Congregation for giving me this chance. I have seen the great benefits this community, infused with the values given to us through Judaism, can bring to each other’s lives. I hope that I have done some things to help enhance that experience for our members.

There are so many people to thank, but I will try not to make it too long. I would like to thank all of the past-­‐presidents of TRS whose experience and wisdom has helped me along the way. Thank you to our leadership– the Board of Directors, the Executive Committee – as well as all of our volunteers. I always admire the time and love that all of you put into to the endeavors that you are passionate about. And thanks to Beth Silver, Cantor Allen Leider, Fran Pfeffer, Anita Thornton, Dara Holop, and the rest of the administrative and teaching staffs as we worked our way through many changes and for your graciousness in receiving my many impromptu visits and phone calls. I must thank our wonderful clergy – Rabbi Schwartzman, Cantor Shochet, Rabbi Saxe, Rabbi Bernstein, and Rabbi Berkowitz for the energy and passion you bring to this place, and for being such willing partners.

I want to thank my wife Lisa. I could not have done this without her. She was a sound source of advice throughout these two years. And she worked to keep our family moving forward through the complicated lives of four busy people – including a Bat Mitzvah and a college search. She made more contributions than many will ever know – I hope we can all thank her.

Last, I want to thank my parents, who visited here almost two years ago to the day – and told me how lucky I was to be president of a Temple like this. Their years in Temple leadership and fighting on behalf of Soviet Jewry inspired me to take on this position. I am proud to pass this example onto my children.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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CONGREGATIONAL MEETING REMARKS
ANDREW JOSKOW JUNE 2014
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I have a few more things I would like to say, but at this point I will see if there any questions
from the Congregation.
This is my final Congregational Meeting as President of TRS. It has been the opportunity of a
lifetime and I am grateful to the Congregation for giving me this chance. I have seen the great
benefits this community, infused with the values given to us through Judaism, can bring to each
other’s lives. I hope that I have done some things to help enhance that experience for our members.

There are so many people to thank, but I will try not to make it too long. I would like to thank
all of the past-­‐presidents of TRS whose experience and wisdom has helped me along the way. Thank
you to our leadership
– the Board of Directors, the Executive Committee – as well as all of our volunteers. I always
admire the time and love that all of you put into to the endeavors that you are passionate about.
And thanks to Beth Silver, Cantor Allen Leider, Fran Pfeffer, Anita Thornton, Dara Holop, and the
rest of the administrative and teaching staffs as we worked our way through many changes and for
your graciousness in receiving my many impromptu visits and phone calls. I must thank our wonderful
clergy – Rabbi Schwartzman, Cantor Shochet, Rabbi Saxe, Rabbi Bernstein, and Rabbi Berkowitz for
the energy and passion you bring to this place, and for being such willing partners.

I want to thank my wife Lisa. I could not have done this without her. She was a sound source of
advice throughout these two years. And she worked to keep our family moving forward through the
complicated lives of four busy people – including a Bat Mitzvah and a college search. She made more
contributions than many will ever know – I hope we can all thank her.

Last, I want to thank my parents, who visited here almost two years ago to the day – and told me
how lucky I was to be president of a Temple like this. Their years in Temple leadership and
fighting on behalf of Soviet Jewry inspired me to take on this position. I am proud to pass
this example onto my children.

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