President’s Message

You know I love a tortured metaphor, so it will likely come as no surprise that after spending a week at the Swimming Olympic Trials in Indianapolis a couple weeks ago, I’m thinking about our new Interim Rabbi and 2024-2025 Board as similar to the Olympic Team created in those 8 days. Perhaps more relatedly, is the parallel between the small intersquad meets we hold here in Bend and the meet that was the Olympic Trials.

I know not everyone is familiar with swim meets (for goodness’ sake, this is Oregon, I should be using a track and field metaphor), but bear with me. Basically, an athlete says, “I want to swim this race,” and either your coach or your historic times say, “Yes you can.” Whether it’s a meet at Juniper Swim & Fitness or at the US Olympic Trials the tech is the same, the officiating is the same, the standards are the same—if you don’t touch with two hands when swimming the breaststroke you are DQ’d.

Perhaps most surprisingly, the volunteerism is the same. Nearly everyone involved in running the meet—from the concession stand workers to the head official are volunteers. The swim community is much like Temple Beth Tikvah—we both run on volunteerism. What differentiates swim meets from one another is the performance levels of the athletes as they grow and develop their skills and the experience of those running the meet

Those of us who volunteer to serve on your Board of Directors often talk about the developmental age of Temple Beth Tikvah. A few years ago, we celebrated becoming a B’Nai Mitzvah. This year, we begin our 16th year. I couldn’t be more thrilled to be welcoming Rabbi Sara Abrams to our community this year as our Interim Rabbi. She will be an incredible “coach” for our 16thyear.

I might be even more excited about the team we all get to have leading us this year. The level of experience with governance of non-profits is significantly increasing as we welcome Dave Liedman as our Treasurer as well as Ginger Weedon and Laura Fritz as Members-at-Large. Remaining on the Board and bringing the historic knowledge of tenured members are Paul Spencer, as Vice President, Kathy Schindel, as Secretary, and Lester Dober, as Member-at-Large. As is indicated by my penning of this letter, I too remain, as your President.

You will likely hear some new ideas and ways of doing things from our 2024-2025 Board. I hope you remember that Katie Ledecky—the true GOAT of the Swim World—didn’t start out as a record-breaking swimmer. She got there through years of learning from others, being coached, trying new things, failing at things, and growing. Still, she’s a swimmer—from start to finish.

Just like Temple Beth Tikvah is your Jewish Congregation—we may do new things, change and adjust processes. At the end of the day though we are about Community, Education, Worship, and Social Action. We are the place where you Find Your Connection—that’s what we are guided by. That’s the lane we will continue to swim in—even if we might change our stroke every once in a while.