From TBT President Jeanne Freeman

It was a beautiful High Holy Days season for us at Temple Beth Tikvah. The sanctuary and Tashlich were full with members, guests, visitors, and newcomers to Central Oregon. We heard how welcomed people felt by all of us, and some of those new to the area are already looking forward to more time with their new friends at TBT.

As we continue to grow, and to address our future needs, there are two initiatives that I ask for your participation and support with - Emerging Leaders and Member Engagement.

The Emerging Leaders program from the URJ was introduced and refined a few years ago. We are using that carefully-crafted program as the basis to develop a TBT-inspired leadership training program. Initially, we are inviting the current board members and committee chairs to participate. But acceptance of a board or committee position is only one path for admittance to the program. If you have a desire and willingness to participate in synagogue leadership, then we want you involved.

If you want to develop your own leadership style and qualities, and you have an interest in serving our Jewish community, please let me know: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Our goal is to create a cohesive team that develops a set of objectives for our community's future. We cannot grow and fulfill our destiny without the leadership to take us there.

The second initiative is Member Engagement. Bringing in new members and making them feel welcome falls to every one of us. Each of us is an ambassador of this community. People join an organization, a community, a synagogue. It is up to us who are already members to invite those new people in, to turn them into active and involved members, into participants, into volunteers, into leaders.

Be the host and greeter for a Shabbat evening. It's an opportunity to enjoy Shabbat and the potential to make new friends. Introduce yourself to a newcomer at a Service, an Oneg, an Adult Ed, a Tot Shabbat. Engage them in conversation. Find out more about them and tell them about yourself, and about TBT. Make a Connection.

These, and all of our programs, are about keeping Judaism alive. It is what we do as a community when we come together - in prayer, in celebration, in learning, in social action, in play. Raise your level of consciousness about Judaism and the need that the world has to see our commitment.

In a world that sometimes seems to have gone mad, it is more than important, it is imperative, that we continue the works of Judaism, that we offer a voice for peace, for getting along. We are a voice for community; we are a voice for people working together. By coming together, we prove that the haters aren't going to win.

This synagogue is worth your time and effort. A community isn't about any of the individual "me's" in the room; it is about "we" - me helping you and you helping me. It is all of us working together.

Open yourself up to the opportunities that being a member of this community give you and get involved. Call me if you're not sure where to start, I'll help you find your fit.