From the President


Our Temple depends on the contributions of all members of our family, whether by ideas, financial support, or volunteer efforts.  I have often referred to the three Ws – wisdom, wampum, and work.  Your gift of these things not only keep our Temple going, but will help us grow in the future.  We thank you for your continued support.  One other thing we need from you is bodies – live of course! – in the form of new members and member families.  Please take an increased awareness of this need with you when you go through your day.  Someone you know might just need Temple Beth Emet as much as we need them!

In March, we held a Town Meeting to discuss the state of our Temple and ways we could improve and grow.  Several people attended and offered ideas and observation, and we even had some people step forward to become more involved.  We thank those who took the time to attend.

In April, we had our first “Big Ask” fundraiser, calling our families to ask for financial support.  Those who worked the phones mentioned that they were impressed by the reception they received from those they had called.  Not one of our volunteer callers had anyone become cross with them or hang up.  Most callers pledged support.  We thank you for your financial encouragement.  One Temple member remarked to me a couple of weeks later that it was nice that we waited to start calling until the late morning, rather that disturbing people early on a Sunday morning!

On April 15th, we held our Community Seder.  It was a rousing success with nearly 100 people attending.  On behalf of each and every one of us who shopped, cooked, served, cleaned up, conducted, or otherwise was involved in putting on our Community Seder, we thank ALL OF YOU who joined us.  It was our labor of love for our community.  You made our efforts worthwhile and rewarding.  Thank you also to everyone who was involved in any capacity in putting on our Community Seder.  It is a lot of work, but the result was a meaningful and positive impact on our community.

On June 6, 2017 at 7:00 PM we will be having our Annual Meeting of the membership, which will include the election of Officers and Directors for the Temple Board of Directors for the coming year.  As I am chair of the Nominating Committee, I know that there will be some empty spots on our slate of nominees.  I urge everyone to consider increasing their involvement in our Temple community next year, either by agreeing to serve on the Board or in some other capacity.  Nominations will be taken from the floor that evening.  I also invite everyone to attend the Annual Meeting so that we can continue the discussion we started in March.

One of the first people we met at St. Jude’s Anglican Church, when we started holding our High Holiday services was David Van Ausdal, who assisted Fr. Charles Mitchell and basically ran the office at St. Jude’s.  David was kind, wise, funny, and loving.  He was one of the people who always worked to make sure that when we visited we felt welcome and had everything we needed and more.  For many years, he joined us on the bimah at the conclusion of services with his didgeridoo, adding its unique sound to our final shofar blast.  David left this world on April 7th after a long illness.  I’m sure he is in the world-to-come telling stories and trading jokes with Alan Sloves and Jerry Engelberg as they used to do when we were all together so many years ago.  A Memorial Service for David Van Ausdal will be held at St. David’s Anglican Church, 710 South Glenoaks Blvd., in Burbank at 3:00 pm on Saturday, May 13th.  As you may know, St. Jude’s merged with St. David’s shortly after the High Holidays.  St. David’s meets at the Burbank Seventh-Day Adventist Church.  Members of the Temple Beth Emet community are invited to attend.

Finally, Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 14th.  I wish all the moms of Temple Beth Emet, from the ones whose children attend our preschool to those whose children are grown and on their own, a very Happy Mother’s Day!