Message from Our President

Dear Congregation B’nai Israel Members,

I want to thank everyone who has made our high holidays services possible this year. Firstly, thank you to our dedicated Rabbi, who has put together the services and curated a wonderful team of musicians and vocalists. Our pianist is Steven Graff, our violinist is Courtney LaBaur, and our vocalist is Keith Jones.

Another large thank you goes to our Ritual Committee who is led by our own Dr. Mark Packer. Mark met with the Rabbi and several of our members including David Blumenfeld, Sandy Gordin, Bob Britanisky, Cheryl August, and Rex Russell to plan and offer the Aliyah’s to many of our members during this high holiday season.

Our Sisterhood deserves a huge thank you for the beautiful Oneg provided during Rosh Hashanah.

I would also like to thank Susan Abelkop for planning the Yom Kippur Break-Fast for us. The cost for Break-Fast is $10.00 per adult, $5.00 children 6- 10 years, under 5 is free. If you have not RSVP’d for Break-Fast, please do so.

The gorgeous flowers for our services during this High Holy Day season are in memory of Seymour “Speedy” and Marion Feinstein. They are given by their family: Lori and Rob Axelrod, Sandi and Gerald Friedman, and Sheree and David Kanter and Families.

Jan Stribling our incredibly talented secretary deserves a tremendous thank you for all the secretarial and organizational tasks that are taken care of behind the scenes each day and especially during high holy days.

Sharon Packer has been instrumental in taking care of our Facebook and social media presence. The board and I appreciate her time and expertise.

I would like to thank Avi Liebowitz for his technical advice so we can continue to be a presence each week on Facebook Live.

My message this month is brought to you by the Letter “B”. When I was thinking about what to write, the letter B kept coming up in my thoughts. I am not sure why. After thought and reflection I realized that two of my Temple Topic messages from this year were written with B’s in mind.

In February of this year, I wrote about becoming a human being. Yes, I know, we are all human beings. However, are you really a human being or a human doing? To be honest, I find I am a human doing, rushing around to complete the next item on my “to do” list so it can go on my “ta da” list. Then when I do have free time, I find I am looking for ways to be entertained by doing something like watching a movie, reading, or stitching on a needlepoint canvas. When am I ever just being – being still and reflecting – very seldom. However, I am grateful for my religion and Synagogue. Our beautiful Temple gives us a sanctuary to be a human being. Being still, being reflective, and just being. I hope you find when you are here or tuning in to our Facebook Live each week, you find a way to go from a human doing to a human being.

As I just mentioned, our beautiful Temple gives us a place to just be; it requires another type of “B” to thrive. It takes worker bees similar to a honeybee hive. When I was a teenager, my father took up bee keeping. In March of this year, I wrote about his hobby in Temple Topics. When my father went about setting up his hives I read and observed along with him. Honey- bees it turns out are very interesting creatures. I learned several life lessons from bee keeping, not just how to avoid being stung in life.

Learning about and watching bees taught me several life lessons.

I learned the importance of working well with others. Every bee has a job, and if each bee does their job and cooperates the hive thrives. If not, the hive dies.

I learned to plan for the future. Bees make extra honey to feed the hive during the winter; they plan ahead so their hive can continue growing.

I learned to do good without a reward in mind. Bees are selfless. If one or two scouts know where some colorful flowers are, they don’t hoard the pollen for themselves so they will look like heroes to the other bees. They go to their hive and do a wiggle dance that tells all the bees exactly where the beautiful flowers are, so they can go gather pollen, too.

Overall, bees work to create a vibrant community that is achieved through communication, planning ahead, and doing the selfless hard work necessary to thrive.

Our Temple community is much like a beehive. We are each a bee in the hive. Like bees, we need to communicate, work, plan, and cooperate to keep our Temple vibrant and growing. Selfless contributions make our Temple a wonderful place to be.

Please consider how you can be involved; be a giver of time, effort, and money. The Rabbi, board, and I are grateful for every minute you spend at our Temple. With you we can continue to grow and be strong.

Money is important. It takes an incredible amount to keep our lovely sanctuary, Sunday school, kitchen, and office functional and thriving. If you are not a member, please join. We need you to be an official part of our congregation. We have in-town and out-of-town membership options. If you are currently a member, thank you. When it comes time to donate to our Annual Fair Share campaign, perhaps increase your donation. Every cent counts and helps our hive thrive.

So, my message brought to you by the Letter B is:
For us to continue to have a place to be a human being, we need to work together like bees in a hive.

I wish you each wonderful high holidays this year. I wish you peace, love, laughter, reflection, and moments of human being.

Shana Tova
Tina Lyon
Congregation B’nai Israel, President