Wednesday, September 10, 2014

My Top Ten Reasons To Be Excited About the Coming Year at Adas Emuno


From the pages of Kadima, the newsletter of Congregation Adas Emuno:

A Message From Our President

Dr. Lance Strate

My Top Ten Reasons

To Be Excited About the Coming Year at

Adas Emuno

Rabbi Schwartz is an inspiration to us all, in so many ways, and one of the ways that he has inspired me is his penchant for creating top ten lists. I have to admit that that sort of thing was never my cup of tea, although I have appreciated David Letterman's ability to come up with them night after night. But I do have to acknowledge that there is something about a numbered list that attracts people's attention, and they do provide a structured and organized way to convey a whole bunch of thoughts and ideas. So, I thought I'd try my hand at putting one together this time out.

And I have to tell you that I am very excited about how we have dealt with problems that presented themselves last year, and how we are poised to move forward over the coming year. So, without further ado, here are my top ten reasons why this coming year at Adas Emuno will be one of our best years yet:

1. Our new Cantor. Sandy Horowitz has already brought her musical magic to our Friday night Shabbat services for several weeks now. Our congregation has very high standards when it comes to music, and Cantor Horowitz definitely meets them, and in many ways exceeds our expectations.

2. The Dream Team. Although they have only been leading services together for a short while, Rabbi Schwartz and Cantor Horowitz are working together seamlessly, making services truly a pleasure to attend. And it has been many, many years since our pulpit has been graced by both an ordained rabbi and an ordained cantor.

3. New congregational leadership. I am positively kvelling about the infusion of energy and spirit that the newest members of our Board of Trustees, Judith Fisher, Susan Gray, Jody Pugach, Doris White, and Sandy Zornick, have brought to the board in their first few weeks as trustees.

4. And new officers. It is also so very gratifying to have Vice-President Elka Oliver and Recording Secretary Marilyn Katz providing added energy to our executive committee.

5. A new Religious School Director. Cantor Horowitz, in taking over the dual role of clergy and principal, brings to the job authority and expertise, along with a wonderful sense of warmth and openness, which is exactly what we need. Combining the two positions is part of a growing trend of installing Cantor-Educators, and through that innovation we can look forward to greater coordination between school and shul, something we have wanted to see for a long time now.

6. A new Tot Mitzvah program. We have recognized for some time now the need to strengthen our programming for families with preschoolers, and thanks to Doris White, working together with other volunteers and Cantor Horowitz, we will be launching an innovative new program this fall.

7. The return of Torah Study. What would Saturday mornings be without it? And as led by Rabbi Schwartz, our Torah study sessions are extraordinarily popular. This year we continue our focus on family narratives in the Bible, with special attention to King David.

8. The return of Adas Emuno Has Talent. Our first talent show, held in April of 2013, was an enormous success, and after a one year hiatus, we look forward to its return to our schedule in January of 2015. The event serves as a wonderful showcase for the amazing group of kids we have in our temple (and our adults aren't half bad either).

9. Poetry Garden. This summer we began to meet as a small group to read poetry out loud in the Adas Emuno garden. It has been a modest affair, but one that has generated enough interest to schedule monthly gatherings throughout the coming year, to meet in the garden if weather permits, or in the social hall. And prior to the September Poetry Garden meeting, we will also be treated to a concert in the garden courtesy of the recorder society that rents our social hall.

10. And there's more! More social action initiatives! More adult education programs! More musical events! More than I can fit into a top ten list, so I'll just say that there's more in the works, so stay tuned.

I think 5775 is going to be a breakout year for Adas Emuno, and I hope you agree with me that there's so much to be excited about. And let me take this opportunity to wish you and yours a Shana Tova, and I look forward to seeing you on the High Holy Days, if not before.

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