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President's Message -March 2021

Laurence Abbott

A board of directors reflects on the past, attends to the present, and plans for the future. The idea is that we learn from what has worked and what has not worked, and that we remain conscious of our customs and the ways things have been done while not necessarily allowing our hands to be tied by prior practices. Time passes, circumstances change, communities evolve, and our needs and wants shift. Our shul, our board, and our movement recognize that the long emergency brought on by COVID compels us to be reflective and reflexive, finding way to adapt what we do and, perhaps, adopt new ideas and approaches to what we do.

                                                                                                                                                                             Over the course of the last four weeks, I have participated in two meetings with the new CEO of the United Synagogues of Conservative Judaism (USCJ) and the Rabbinical Assembly (RA), Rabbi Jacob Blumenthal. The first of the meetings was a for presidents of the Northern Pacific Region, and the second was a meeting of Canadian congregations. These were, for the most part, focused on hearing about the challenges that member congregations face, and unsurprisingly, all of them are ones we’re facing, too, at Beth Shalom. For example, our congregations are aging, our pool of willing volunteers is overstretched, younger families are not joining, and our programming is not necessarily connecting with some segments of the community. COVID has only amplified these, highlighting issues that our movement has been confronting for generations. 

                                                                                                                                                                           Given that we’re approaching the time of year when we’re recruiting for our board, I am reaching out to our membership to help build our board and help us reimagine and renew our synagogue. Whether you have served on the board in the past, or you have not yet been involved on the board, please give serious thought to joining the board and to sustaining our shul.

                                                                                                                                                                           I am writing this just prior to Purim, and I want to express my gratitude to Helena Khazanovsky and to all the volunteers who helped put together and distribute the Mishloach Manot packages that went out to our members. In addition, I want to thank Steven Katz and his crew of volunteers for putting together the Purim Spiel, and to everyone in our community I wish a Chag Sameach. And finally, recognizing that Pesach begins before           the end of March and prior to our next bulletin, please accept  my wishes on behalf of the board for a Chag Pesach Sameach,  as well.

  Laurence Abbott  

President, Edmonton Beth Shalom


Tue, 23 April 2024 15 Nisan 5784