This is a continuation of my last letter of 2017. Please see below if you missed it.
Last week, I tried to do the nearly impossible; thank everyone who does work here and contributes to our wonderful synagogue. I missed some people and some things that deserve recognition. This was about programming and a little about donors. Our wonderful donors are and will be thanked appropriately in another format. All who give in any way… with talent, effort, desire, and funding, are needed and appreciated! Thankfully, I can give it another go.
So, in addition to what I mentioned last week, we have an incredible array of programming here. It overlaps with adult education and services and other groups. But it needs to be mentioned.
We have a Scholars-In-Residence program that brings some of the most important thinkers of Jewish concerns to Boca Raton. This is accomplished through great combined efforts. There is a Cultural Arts/Music program that is also a jewel in our crown. Under the leadership of Cantor Udi Spielman and Art Stark, we continue to bring great new Jewish talent and traditional Jewish music to large crowds.
We have an outreach program that coordinates visits to the sick, the elderly and the needy. This is our Pastoral Care program that is being led by Michele Scher with many volunteers. We have regular bereavement groups directed by Carla Van Walsum. There is also a seniors program which meets weekly, focusing on intellectual issues, health issues, and plain old entertainment. Michele Scher is our professional and we have received generous support from Dr. Jack and Tammy Faintuch.
Our adult education program, which I mentioned last week, receives great energy and substance from our affiliations with The Florence Melton Adult School of Learning. Penina Bredoff is an exceptional administrator and leader. Ms. Beatrice Mayer has been so very generous. The annual sessions from The Hartman Institute allow for serious learning in relation to some of the most difficult challenges that face Israel and her neighbors, Israel and the Diaspora, and Israel and her internal affairs.
Learning is also promoted by virtue of our very active library committee and a well-stocked library. This group brings books to us every Shabbat in the foyer and therefore, our library usage is phenomenal in these days of dwindling libraries. We are grateful to Mildred and Sigmund (z”l) Nathan and also to the members of the committee; Sue Kirshner, Bea Gold, Barbara Weiss, Ruth Weiner, Sheila Trossman and Rita Cimbal.
More? You bet! We cannot do this without membership. And we have a membership committee led by Naomi Jacobson that is superb. We have a Foundation led by Spencer Sax that is working hard to ensure the future through generations.
Now, it’s time to focus on this year and our future.
We hope that B’nai Torah makes a difference in our lives and, that it be a synagogue which offers warmth and comfort to all in need, an inspiration to all who seek, and friendship to everyone. We try to make our learning central and meaningful, our support for people and important causes through our tzedakah, significant. We are making a mark in the world of contemporary synagogues. Because of you, we matter, we make a difference.
What more can I say? Thank you.
See you in shul and Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi David Steinhardt