November 2019: From TBS President Josh Weissman

I have spent much of the last year encouraging everyone to get involved in at TBS. This year, let’s build off of the successful programming we had last year, including the Shabbat Around the World series, which will be resuming on November 1 with a stop for dinner in Puerto Rico, and will also include destinations like Mexico, South Africa and, since we’re going around the world, the United States.

There are many non-leadership ways to become involved as well. As I’ve mentioned before, I started here by helping to put the branches on the sukkah roof. Whether it is helping out for an hour with the sukkah enjoying a cup of coffee, or helping out on a Committee, or even suggesting and planning an event or program that interests you, every person can be involved in whatever capacity works for them. Synagogue involvement is as simple as attending services on a regular/semi-regular basis, coming to an Adult Ed, Hebrew School, Men’s Club or Sisterhood event, or participating in one of our many Social Action programs.

Everything mentioned previously involves donations of one of the scarcest and valuable resources – time. However, the synagogue also relies upon financial support from its members as well. The generosity of the TBS community in the past has allowed us to maintain a roof over our heads and a floor beneath our feet. Last year, we came face-to-face with the reality of the new world and the ongoing expenses related to it. I am speaking, of
course, about security, which unfortunately has become a costly and necessary priority. While we will be seeking government assistance for additional physical enhancements and guards, that is short-term. For longer term sustainability, we need to be more self-reliant. I am deeply appreciative of and thankful to those who have already contributed to this effort. The more we have in financial support, the less we have to budget for.

In addition, monetary contributions to our Designated Funds also enable fun and culturally enriching programs to be put on by various arms of the synagogue like Hebrew School, Adult Education and Social Action, just to name a few.

And now we’ve arrived at the moment you’ve been waiting for – the end of my High Holiday Appeal…I mean the presentation of the President’s Award.

Over the years, our winner has also held various leadership roles, including Ritual Vice President, Director, Trustee and, when needed, Rabbi. In addition, our honoree was also a Hebrew School teacher for a number of years. In addition, this year’s recipient has been a regular leader of Friday night and Saturday morning services for many years. Our honoree is part of a group of congregants who are part of the synagogue’s set of “tefillin”, because when someone is needed as a last minute replacement to lead a service, they are always there to fill in.

This year’s winner embodies 2 sayings of the great 20th Century philosopher, Rabbi Vince Lombardi, “Winners never quit, and quitters never win”, and “It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.” I can tell you, this year’s recipient is no quitter, and always gets back up.

It is my privilege and honor to present this year’s award, which reads, “In recognition and appreciation of your outstanding dedication and commitment to the improvement of our community”, to Deborah Wilkenfeld.

For those who were not able to be at Kol Nidre, I hope you will take the opportunity to congratulate Deborah on her well-earned and well-deserved award.

I also want to take this opportunity to wish everyone in our TBS family a Happy Thanksgiving.

Josh Weissman
TBS President