View from the President

2018 will continue to bring positive changes to Temple Beth Am...
A message from Daniela Zanzuri-Beiner
President, Temple Beth Am

I saw a photo on Facebook the other day: “I always knew I would grow old. I just did not expect it to arrive so quickly.” I feel that way about the passing of time. It seems that only yesterday we were celebrating the turn of the century and now it is 2018.

Our new board was installed in May 2017, and reconvened in the fall. Although we all feel that we lost a month with Hurricane Irma, our temple board did manage to accomplish a number of important things.

We recently had a board retreat with Rabbi Steven Kaye from Colorado, who has over two decades of professional experience in organizational development, team building and executive coaching. Rabbi Kaye works in both the secular and Jewish world and is also a first responder, having recently worked for the Red Cross in the tragic Las Vegas shooting. He opened his discussion exploring the history of Jewish life in the United States and paralleling it with the changing prayer books used by the Union for Reform Judaism.

We studied how working on a Temple board is very different than serving on a for-profit board, how volunteer engagement means different things to a baby boomer than it does to a millennial, and how the challenges of making good business decisions are different when looking through a Jewish lens. As board members we challenged each other with questions about expectations and commitments. I am so proud that the Temple Beth Am Board of Directors is a dedicated group of individuals who really want to make a difference.

This past fall a task force was formed under the leadership of our VP-Development Richard Siegel to review our bylaws which were last revised in 2006. Richard will be working with Debra Frank, Karen Zinn, Norman Einspruch, Judy Gilbert-Gould, Melissa Buckner and Greg Sandler. Bob Hersh and I met to divide the Policies and Procedures Handbook and have distributed the different sub-sections to various Vice Presidents/Committee Chairs. They are tasked with reviewing them and discussing which policies are still relevant and which need to be revisited.

Our VP-Religious Life Tracey Spiegelman, along with Senior Rabbi Jeremy Barras, has been working on the rituals portion, one of the most challenging sections. Tracey already has presented us with a change on our policy on Interfaith Marriage. We voted and changed the policy to reflect the following:

“Temple Beth Am encourages marriage between one Jew and another. We recognize that intermarriage is not uncommon, and we are committed to welcoming intermarried couples into our congregational family. As such, with the approval and consent of the Senior Rabbi, TBAM clergy may perform intermarriage ceremonies in or outside of the synagogue if the couple meets the criteria of the officiant for marriage. The wedding ceremony must be Jewish in nature and not incorporate religious practices or rites of other faiths. Co-officiation with non-Jewish clergy is not permitted.”

As more suggestions and recommendations are made, they will be brought before the board to be discussed and voted.

Looking ahead we have some wonderful “fun-raising” events planned for 2018. Our Youth Engagement Religious Life (YERS) department will host its third annual YERS Live event on Friday, January 26th. This is a wonderful way to celebrate community and celebrate our family and friends. The Click and Cutler Stew — two bands led by Temple Beth Am parents — will be performing.

Our Day School will host its Annual Auction on Thursday, March 15th, and last, but not least, we are hosting the Women of Valor luncheon on Monday, May 14th. Our Temple does not have a shortage of women who are defined by their actions and who have graciously given of their time to lead us. Please consider nominating someone who you feel has made a difference at Temple Beth Am or in our Jewish community. Click here for our online nomination form. We are also proud that Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen has agreed to join us. We praise her not only for the support that she has shown Israel, but also that she paid tribute to our Founding Rabbi Emeritus Rabbi Herbert Baumgard (z”l) on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.

There is no doubt that 2018 will continue to bring many positive changes to Temple Beth Am as our campus continues to offer more opportunities to enjoy our campus. As our mission statement reminds us, “Temple Beth Am embraces Jewish Life through Lifelong Learning, Spiritual Growth and Community Engagement.” Join us for the ride in 2018.


REMEMBER TO RENEW YOUR MEMBERSHIP!  •  If you have not yet renewed your membership for 2017–18, please do so at your earliest convenience. Click here for Online Membership Renewal