>TSTI President Hope Pomerantz: INSTALLATION 2010-2011


Change is good.
  Change is hard.
Change is important.
Change is uncomfortable.
Change is necessary.
Change is uncertain.
Change invites creativity.
Change is risky.
Change is inevitable.
This is not the same congregation we joined 16 years ago.  It’s not the same community it was when either of our children became a bar mitzvah here.  It’s not the same temple it was even a year ago, when I stood here for the first time as president of this amazing congregation.  And I am so very glad.
For as much as my family and I were drawn to the temple we met 16 years ago, as proud as we were of the community of which we were a part at the boys’ bar mitzvahs; as wonderful as this synagogue was last year at this time – each year, each month, each week, each day poses new opportunities  – and I am so proud that we are a community open to those ideas.
Some of the changes we have experienced are huge- others smaller and more subtle.  Each brings with it the prospect of criticism, the risk of failure and the excitement and reward of potential success.
The growth and sustainability of this congregation is integrally linked to its ability to change—to constantly examine where we are, who we are and who we want to continue to be.  These are signs of strength, not weakness.  They are an indication of health and forward thinking.  They are the only road to continued stability and success.
At the core of this congregation is a foundation of warmth, inclusion, faith, spirituality and education.  At the core of this congregation is a wide base of kindness, social consciousness, volunteerism and devotion.  At the core of this congregation and throughout our community, there are so many talented, dedicated and generous people willing to lend their minds, time and resources to Temple.  Our mission, our identity, our character all lead us to look for and make improvements, to explore and incorporate new tools and ideas, in order to protect and adhere to our incredible foundation.
When I stood before you last year at Sukkot and Installation, I delineated our goals.  And to be honest, this year, they are no different.  For our work in these areas is ongoing.  We strive to remain fiscally prudent; to find innovative ways to attract and retain our membership; to embrace more and better technology; to become ever more environmentally conscious and to move our congregation forward in thought, prayer and social action.  
As you know from my annual meeting report, we achieved all of these things in great measure last year and, completed our long-term construction and a community-wide Torah project. 
This year, our efforts toward these same objectives will include many activities.  We will excel in the GreenFaith Certification pilot and continue to improve environmental awareness in our community.  We have commissioned and will implement recommendations that grow out of our retention and organizational effectiveness committees.  Our continued devotion to life-long learning; more and varied political and social action will lead us down a satisfying and successful path.  The launch of a new initiative with Big Brothers/Big Sisters; continued work with the homeless, interfaith food pantry and Mazon will all increase our contributions to the larger community and engage an even broader base of volunteers.  The programs and initiatives of our clergy, caring community and social worker enhance the lives of our members and enable them and us to reach out more readily to others. And our spiritual leaders continue to challenge us, push us and expand our scope on religious, ecumenical and secular issues.
We are a wonderful, albeit imperfect congregation – lucky on so many levels. Ours is a tradition of diverse thought, inclusive debate and the richness of multiple levels of leadership working together at every turn.  
We are fortunate to have such a dynamic and engaged clergy team, such a talented Executive Director and such a devoted senior staff.   So lucky to have a board comprised of folks with incredible experiences, skills and abilities—who offer us the benefit of their time, effort and counsel.
On page 258 of our prayer book, there is a blessing for our congregation that sums up my hopes for this year perfectly.  It says: 
May the children of this community learn these passions from us:
Love of Torah, devotion in prayer, and support of the needy.
May we guide with integrity, and may our leadership be in Your service.
May those who teach and nourish us be blessed with satisfaction, and may we appreciate their time and their devotion.
Bless us with the fruits of wisdom and understanding.
Change is hard.  
Change is good. 
Change is inevitable.  
Let us all move through this year of change and challenge and blessing together.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s