PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE – April 2019
When the Israelites left Egypt they were 12 tribes traveling together. They all had the same destination, the Promised Land, but they also were concerned with their own clan. Synagogues are a lot like that. We all have the same overall goal, a thriving community, but there are distinct “clans,” each with areas of primary interest to them. At Temple Beth Emet, we have always known that our family consisted of a Religious School clan and a Friday Night clan. It isn’t that the two factions did not overlap somewhat, but a lot of religious school families hardly ever came to Shabbat services, and a lot of the Friday Night regulars had no reason to come to Temple when religious school was in session.
For years we have tried to think of ways to bring the two clans together, with varying levels of success. Barbara Bolter suggested a monthly pizza dinner before Shabbat services, and our Pizza Night/Family Services on the first Shabbat of the month is our most successful and enduring effort. Still, a certain degree of separation has existed. Add to that the Sisterhood, which is constantly working to support the Temple. It seems, many in the Sisterhood have observed, that the younger women weren’t interested in joining them. And then we started our Preschool, with a whole other group of families. We all shared the building, but we weren’t sharing experiences.
That may finally be changing. Our Religious School Parents Association, under the leadership of Cherie Rye, and our Sisterhood, under the leadership of Fran Bourne Johnson, have been working together, sometimes even meeting on the same mornings. We were even able to bring all of our clans together at our Hanukkah celebration, with everyone participating in our “Temple Beth Emet’s Got Talent” show.
Our Preschool families have become more active in Temple affairs. Recently, a group of Preschool parents met with the Preschool oversight committee to make clear their strong feelings regarding our search for a new Preschool Director to take over when Elaine Rosenfield retires in June. We listened to what they had to say, and they and we are both happy to announce that Hayley Wood will be our new Preschool Director. Hayley has been with the Preschool since before the beginning, helping Elaine to get our Preschool launched. We look forward to working with her to continue building connections with the Preschool families and increase their participation in our Temple community.
It is wonderful to see all aspects of our Temple family interacting and participating in Temple life.
I mentioned our Sisterhood earlier. They are a remarkable group and our Temple really could not survive without their hard work and dedication. Last month, they organized a wonderful Purim Dinner, and this month they are holding their annual Parking Lot Sale on Sunday, April 7, and are managing our Community Seder on Saturday, April 27. Make sure to check out the flyers for these events in this issue of the Chai Times.
On Tuesday, May 7, the Burbank Human Relations Council will present the 2019 Days of Remembrance, our community commemoration of the Holocaust. This year the program is hosted by American Lutheran Church, 755 N. Whitnall Highway in Burbank. The program starts at 7:15 PM. It is always a moving and inspiring evening, and I hope many of us will attend, not only to keep the memory of the victims of the Holocaust alive, but also to show the unity and strength of the Jewish community in Burbank.
Wishing you all a chag Pesach sameach, a very Happy Passover!
— IRA L. GOLDSTEIN, President