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President's Message - January 2019

Although the Jewish New Year is in the fall, the secular New Year in January is a significant date for all of us. It is a time for reflection and goal setting for our lives in the greater Edmonton community. With this in mind I thought the January Bulletin would be an opportunity to share with you some of our accomplishments in 2018 and some of our plans for 2019.

Our Shabbat Services followed by our delicious Kiddush lunches continue under the capable leadership of Cantor Mannes. In 2019 we have seven B’nai Mitzvah students studying and participating on Shabbat. Congregants young and older are a vital component of our Shabbat Services and our morning minyans. We encourage you to come, to participate, and to lend your voice to our kehillah.

Adult Education programming lead by Anna Linetsky continues to provide rich and thought-provoking topics related to Jewish life. The programs are often scheduled right after the Kiddush lunch on Shabbat providing a continuation of Jewish Learning on Shabbat. The next program will be presented by Amy Weinberg, on January nineteenth, who will be talking about “Healthy Eating and Judaism”. Please join us.

We held a very successful Hanukkah program on December second. This very successful program included stories, crafts, karaoke, picture taking and a delicious latkes lunch. Yasher Koach to Susan Baram and Helena Khazanovsky for a job well done. We believe it is critical to provide excellent and engaging programming for our families with younger children and we are planning more for you in the coming months. Watch for information about our upcoming Purim Party which will focus on the young and the young at heart!

We continue our interfaith work in the greater Edmonton Community. Cantor Mannes continues to work with other religious groups who are interested in learning more about Judaism. In December we hosted Reverend Henry Kranenburg and his students from the West End Christian Reformed Church at our Shabbat service.

Beth Shalom supports the Habitat for Humanity 2019 Interfaith Build to provide affordable housing in the greater Edmonton area. Reeva Parker volunteers as our community liaison for this project. Thank you to Reeva for her leadership and creating Tikkun Olum in the greater Edmonton area.

Jeff Rabinovitch, our Board Treasurer, is responsible for the work being done to upgrade our building’s electrical infrastructure. This work will be completed in January 2019. As well Jeff is in the process of preparing our 2019 budget for ratification at our AGM which will be held at the end of March 2019. He has written an article for this bulletin which explains what is being done to upgrade the electrical infrastructure. Jeff has contributed a huge amount to the improvement of our building while on the Beth Shalom Board. Yasher Koach!!!

Gerry Sorokin and the Rabbi Search Committee are on track with their plan to hire a Rabbi for Beth Shalom and Gerry will update you in our monthly bulletins. Please read his column in this month’s bulletin. The RSC is diligently working to secure the best Rabbi possible for Beth Shalom. We are grateful for our volunteers and their invaluable contributions to the sustainability of our conservative voice in the Edmonton Jewish Community. Thank you!!!

Our security initiatives have been led by Ruth-Ellen Shafir and Drew Hanson. In 2018 they attended the JFED monthly Board meetings and the security meetings chaired by the Edmonton Police Department which are attended by the Jewish organizations that make up our community. Our upgraded building security system will be installed this month. In 2019 it is our goal to review our security policy and procedures and make sure that they provide our staff and congregants with peace of mind and safety while at Beth Shalom.

Jini Vogel has been working in the synagogue office while Helena Khazanovsky is away on medical leave. Thanks to Jini, Cantor Mannes, and Dorothy Turner our bookkeeper it is “business as usual” at Beth Shalom. I know you all join with me in wishing Helena a healthy and speedy recovery.

Upcoming committee work in 2019 will include developing a plan to renovate the downstairs chapel, providing Board support to our Bnai Mitzvah age group, developing excellent and inviting programming for our younger families with children, and the review of our present membership policy. Please feel free to contact me at any time if you have questions, ideas, or concerns you would like to share with me to improve life at Beth Shalom. I will keep you updated as the work unfolds. Wishing you and your family a happy, healthy and prosperous 2019.

Respectfully, Lana Black

Sat, 16 February 2019 11 Adar I 5779