From TBT President Jeanne Freeman
Summer has flown by at a rate that seems far faster than most years. And with so many b'nai mitzvah to celebrate, we came together more often than we sometimes do in summer as we welcomed Leila, Maxwell and Chase into our adult Jewish community.
Our Shabbat in the Park brought many - from our youngest to our oldest members - to Shevlin Park, where we finally all got to hear Jo play the Sh'ma on her saw. Who knew you could shop at Home Depot for musical instruments!? And what fun to visit with so many members, prospective members, and guests from near and as far away as Israel.
For the leadership team and committees, summer has been a busy time preparing for the year ahead. The TBT calendar is filling with a variety of Shabbat Services and programs, Tot Shabbats, dinners, adult ed programs, Havdallahs, Jewish Community Religious school, holiday parties, Connections events, fundraisers, social action programs and more. For a small community, we have a very busy year planned. And while we don't expect to see you at every event, we do hope to see you at many of them.
Each of our members has his or her own reasons for participating. For some it is spiritual, others social, or educational, or for projects of gemilut chassidim and tikkun olam. For some it is connection to Judaism and a Rabbi. Whatever your reason, we hope that you will find it at TBT. Our success is measured by the satisfaction and enjoyment of our members and not by the number of members that attend.
Recently, the board held its annual retreat where we set our goals for the coming year, determining the needs of the community and how we can fulfill them. Our top priority is to find a new director for our Jewish Community Religious School. After five years in that role, Kathy Schindel is stepping down effective December 31st. In that time, Kathy has brought together Central Oregon's three Jewish communities, creating a program that has given our kids a foundation in Judaism and reading Hebrew. She has worked with teachers, parents, and students to develop an exciting educational environment. We are all indebted to her for her commitment to our children's Jewish education.
Now that we've secured her commitment to continue tutoring our b'nai mitzvah students, we are accepting her resignation as Education Director, and we are seeking her replacement. Please read the "help wanted" ad in our September newsletter and make your recommendation for someone to fill the position.
Some of our other priorities for the year include:
a) Getting our communications and calendaring processes in place so that we can plan more efficiently and reach you in a more timely way.
b) Continuing the efforts to hold more multi-generational events to bring the community together.
c) Developing multiple fundraising events to support our TBT programs.
d) Expanding our music program to have more congregants participating and creating a TBT songbook.
As we approach the High Holy Days, we enter the season of Teshuvah. In a recent sermon, Rabbi Hershenson referenced teshuvah as returning to our principles and values. Looking back to our founding members and to the principles and values upon which TBT was built, I think that we are still on the right path. I look forward to seeing you during the Holidays, to connecting with old and new friends, to the sweet taste of honey, to hearing the music of Kol Nidre.