Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Our Talented President

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

From the desk of …                    
 Rabbi Barry Schwartz


No, I‘m not talking about the leader of the free world, but the president of our shul.

It’s not every day that a rabbi writes about his president, but Lance Strate is so talented that I’m moved to do so.

What other Temple president enlivens announcements with a witty comment on my sermon week after week?

What other Temple president writes a Temple blog complete with links to entertaining YouTube videos?

What other Temple president writes a column for the local Jewish newspaper (see the Jewish Standard for his latest, Zayde for President) that offers provocative commentary on the media and current events?

What other Temple president convenes a monthly “Poetry Garden” that includes readings of his own charming verse?

What other Temple president writes his own Purim spiels, including last year’s off­-off-­Broadway hit The Schnook of Esther and this year’s Shalom Shushan? The latter premiers in its entirety on Wednesday evening, March 23 at 7:00 pm­ don’t miss it!

What other Temple president has not only written several books, but contributed to a new one with his rabbi? You can find both our pieces in Touching the Face of the Cosmos: On the Intersection of Space Travel and Religion (which you can find by visiting my Amazon authorpage). And look for information on a temple program about the book on Saturday, April 9 at 10 AM in a future post.

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What other Temple president manages to do this while juggling more than his share of family responsibilities and a professorship at Fordham University?

Lance is completing his second term as Temple president, and without term limits I do not know if he will remain in office or anoint a successor. If the former, we will continue to benefit from his dedication and wisdom. If the latter, then may this column serve as a word of gratitude and appreciation.

And let’s remember that the talents of our volunteers run wide and deep. Whether on the board, on a committee, in the school... in a small congregation such as ours, your contribution makes a difference. My highlighting our president is really a salute to all who lend a hand in sustaining our special community.

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