November 2017

This month, I’m posting my High Holiday message in case you were away for the Rosh Hashanah holiday and missed my message.

It’s truly from the heart when I say that it’s great to see everyone here today. When I sit on the Bima with the Rabbi this is the number one thing that we talk about: how to engage congregants to come to services more. Sure, we do get a decent number of people when we run programs like SholomPlex and student-led services. However, it would be really nice to have more people attend services on a regular basis. So, I’d like to throw out a challenge to you; if you consider yourself a 3-day-a-year Jew…. Don’t. Become a 4 or 5-day-a-year Jew… Or, if you’re already attending services once in a while, try to add a day or two. Pick a weekend and come out to daven and schmooze with your fellow congregants. We’ll be experimenting with mini-SholomPlexes this fiscal year in an effort to expand our offerings. So, instead of having Yoga, Nature walks, and Parsha divers all at one time; we’ll have a Shabbat with just Yoga in addition to our regular services.

Also, the good times at the Kiddush oneg/luncheons afterwards are truly not to be missed. The dialogs and conversations are very interesting and I look forward to them. We have some very witty congregants. I’ll paraphrase Pastor Tony Evans of Dallas Texas; “Religion puts hope in a person’s heart and a sense of purpose in their life.”


The next topic I’d like to speak about is an update on where we are with our agreement with the Jewish Community Housing for the Elderly (or, the JCHE). In case you didn’t know; this project would consist of the JCHE building fifty housing units on our land and also provide us and the MetroWest Jewish Day School with a new facility.

It’s been just over one year since the idea was brought to TBS. During that time we’ve held several meetings amongst ourselves and together with the JCHE and the Day School. The meetings went over everyone’s needs and discussed where we can overlap functions and where we can’t.

At the June congregational meeting I gave the update that each party met with the architects and we were waiting to see some plans.

Well, in late July we received some very preliminary sketches of what the different layouts might look like: showing where different buildings and parking could be located on the property; as I said it was very preliminary. One item that was reviewed was that it is more financially feasible for our existing building to be completely rebuilt versus adding onto our current building.

The current plan is to leave our building standing as long as possible and build the new building adjacent to us so that we’re never without a home. So, that is reassuring.

All the people working on this project are working very diligently. They believe that we can build something that will allow our members and the broader Metrowest Jewish community to find meaning, purpose, and connection. For TBS, it will ensure our long-term place and stability as part of a vibrant Jewish living community.

Over the next several months, TBS and the MWJDS will continue to work with the CJP to hash out financial obligations with the project. Make no mistake about it; the Executive Board and Board of Trustees here at TBS will ensure that our financial strength is better off on Day 1 of the new paradigm than we are today.

All that being said; the project still has a time horizon of 3 to 5 years; AND it might take a year to determine if the project can meet all of the needs of the 3 organizations and be financially practical. So, it’s not a “done-deal” yet.


The last topic I want to speak about is our Strength-to-Strength campaign. As I mentioned in my letter in the High Holiday guide, the budget was passed at the congregational meeting in June where our Strength-to-Strength budget number is $115,000. Strength-to-Strength is our most crucial fundraiser of the year and I can’t stress enough how important it is to the overall success of our kehilla. A Board of Trustees member will be reaching out to you after the High Holidays.  David Steier says it best when he tells you to… (Dave Steier in the audience: “ANSWER THE CALL”.)  Me: “ANSWER THE CALL”!