President's Message - November 2017 Print
Dear Members,

In October, I had an opportunity to meet with Congregations in Texas that had been impacted by Hurricane Harvey. The meeting was led by Ric Jacobs head of the URJ who was assisted by several of his staff members. They described the situations in Florida, the Caribbean and California where fires destroyed a Jewish camp. He described the physical, human, financial and psychological toll of all these events. Each individual description was horrendous but the aggregate of all these events was simply overwhelming. After his description, each of us told our own stories which was heart wrenching. However, within each sad story there appeared another story of how people bonded together to help each other regardless of past histories, politics or personal costs. People created new friendships and renewed old ones despite past relationships.

I had three takeaways from this session that I would like to share with you. First, most of our Congregation fared much better than those who lived in the Houston area. Second, as a Congregation we did a wonderful job of aggressively identifying our congregants who needed help and assisting them. Third, it really put in perspective what is important in life.  All of us face challenges which feel so important at the time but are more or less transitional and go away over days, weeks or months. However, events like Hurricane Harvey are transformational and truly change lives forever.  When facing challenges as both individuals and as a Congregation we need to think about whether the challenge is transitional or transformational and act accordingly in the best interest of all.
      
Jim Gold, CBI President