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Congratulations to

Mike Trimyer


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Home From the President President's Message - January 2018
President's Message - January 2018 PDF Print E-mail
This month I had the amazing opportunity to attend the 2017 URJ Biennial in Boston, Massachusetts. I had no idea of what to expect, however, from the opening general session I knew I was in for a once in a lifetime experience.  I was truly moved by the awe-inspiring general assembly speakers, high quality learning sessions, integration of modern and traditional Jewish music, and the spirituality that was infused into the entire 5 days. Overall, I enjoyed meeting and conversing with fellow Jews from all walks of life and Congregations – there was truly a sense of “Jewishness” felt throughout the Biennial.

Inspiration came from outstanding speakers such as Massachusetts Governor Charles Baker, Reverend William Barber, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and the “Nanny” Fran Drescher.  Each speaker identified challenges we face as Americans and Jews living in a polarized world and eloquently emphasized the necessity for each of us to increase our civil dialogue, participate in advocacy initiatives and engage in our communities in order to make the them even better. The issues raised were about social justice, inclusion of all people, a shared responsibility for all of us to engage in helping people and to live up to our Jewish imperative of Tikkun Olam. As we do these things individually and as a congregation we are fostering a vibrant Judaism that is responsive to our diverse congregation and community needs in 2018 and beyond.

I was pleased to be joined at the 2017 URJ Biennial by CBI First Vice President Rikki Schmitchel and CBI Sunday School Director Manuela Sela. We attended many of the general events together but each of us took advantage of different quality learning sessions that we felt would be valuable for us individually. We all came away from these learning sessions more knowledgeable and inspired to serve our Congregation.

My personal highlight of the 2017 URJ Biennial conference happened during the Saturday morning Shabbat service where the representatives of Congregations whose members directly impacted by recent natural disasters were given the honor to carry a Torah throughout the Hall as part of the Torah service.  I was especially moved standing on the stage looking out at the 5,500 congregants, listening in complete silence, to Rabbi Ric Jacobs compassionate words describing the terrible consequences the disasters had taken on our Jewish communities and camps.  Then I carried the Torah through the audience with the people clamoring to touch the Torah and expressing their compassion, concern and well wishes to those effected by the disasters. It was truly a special moment for me that will always be a source of inspiration and hope.

As a temple leader, my main take away from the learning sessions and discussions with other congregation board members is the need for us to engage in creating a CBI Strategic Plan that will build upon our current strengths and develop strategies and actions for meeting the challenges we face. Through this process we will have specific directions as to our finances, membership, programs, services, cemeteries, facilities and any operational responsibility of the Board of Trustees.  

Finally, I need to tell you that as I talked to people from other cities about our social action activities, our educational programs, and especially Food Fest they were so impressed that a congregation our size does so much. How proud and honored I am to have the privilege to lead our special ‘Family of Families”.

Happy New Year to all
          Jim Gold, CBI President

 

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