June 2016

Fellow Congregants,

It’s hard to believe that my two year term as President of Temple Beth Sholom is nearly over. When I was approached by the Nominating Committee in 2014 and asked to consider becoming the president, I was truly surprised. I had only joined the Board of Trustees the prior year and my family had officially joined TBS a few years prior when Harry began the 2nd grade in the religious school.

I told the Nominating Committee that I could not dedicate the time necessary to be President, I was weak on ritual knowledge and had little experience with Temple Politics. In spite of all this, the head of the committee was insistent and I finally agreed.

As July 1 approached, our future did not look bright. Our membership was declining, we were about to close the year with a $70 thousand loss and we were forced to cut back our services dramatically to balance the budget. It would have been very easy to blame everything on the overall decline in Conservative Judaism and give up…

Instead, we rallied together as a community!

Our clergy, our staff, our volunteers and our congregants all refused to take the easy way out. Instead everyone worked together to drive change, attract new members, and stop the decline.

Together, we managed to not only survive, but we introduced new services, we re-vamped many old programs, we grew our membership and considerably reduced the annual departure of existing members. Our Strength to Strength campaign reached historic levels each year and in the end, we managed to return a little money to our savings!

I can not tell you how many times, in two years, I was told that something we were about to try would not work. How something new would cause one group of congregants or another to depart. In the end, after nearly every event or service we attempted, our wonderful congregants – even the ones afraid to engage in the experiment – thanked the volunteers responsible and let us know how much they enjoyed and appreciated the changes.

None of this would have been possible without our community’s desire to thrive. People have contributed their time, their money and their spirit so that the next generation of Metrowest Jews can enjoy what Temple Beth Sholom has to offer.

I would like to thank each and every one of you for your support over the last two years. Sadly, as my professional situation has changed, I have even less time to dedicate to TBS, but I know that you will not stop. We have all seen what is possible and I hope you will support Dave Levinson and the next E-Board the same way you supported me.

Remember, success is an attitude. The future of TBS is as bright as we can imagine it. Never give up!

John Herrera, President.