View from the President

This is your Temple and your community...
A message from Daniela Zanzuri-Beiner
President, Temple Beth Am

I recently returned from Israel where I had the privilege of participating in the Greater Miami Jewish Federation’s Mega Mission to celebrate Israel’s 70th anniversary. Out of the 19 buses, two were filled with Temple Beth Am members. Making it even more special was the fact that we were accompanied by Rabbi Jeremy Barras, Rabbi Rachel Greengrass, Rabbi Robyn Fisher, a longtime member of Beth Am who is now spiritual leader of Temple Beth Or, and other clergy from Miami-Dade County.

No matter how many times I travel to Israel, it is always meaningful. When I landed at Ben-Gurion Airport I felt that my soul was home. Traveling with 850 fellow Jews from the Miami community was very moving. We were there for Yom Ha'Zikaron (Memorial Day) and Yom Ha’Azma-ut (Independence Day). We met with soldiers and young innovators. We went from a crisis center for battered Orthodox women to a counter-terrorism training site, then to a whiskey distillery.

The sense of community was amazing. We went to the Rabin Museum and Rabbi Barras spoke to us about a seminal moment in his life. He was at the square when Rabin was assassinated. Shortly thereafter, he realized his destiny was to be a rabbi just as his grandfather before him. Rabbi Greengrass asked us to reflect how we can help our community. What can we bring to our spiritual table?

As I enter the halfway mark of my Presidency, I reflect not only on the goals I wanted to achieve during my term, but also on the spriritual aspect of my Presidency. The board and I work on the business of the business, but the work we do is sacred. I know that many of you feel a great connection to our Temple Beth Am; some are still searching for that special connection. If we were able to make 850 people feel that special connection and create a sense of community while in our beloved Israel, how can we make our Temple Beth Am members feel that same sense of home? I would love your thoughts. Please feel free to reach out and share yours.

On another note, we will hold our Congregational Annual Meeting on Sunday, June 10 at 4:00 pm. In addition to updating our congregants on Temple business, we also will take the opportunity to thank our board members. Lisa Heller Green, who has been our VP of Tikkun Olam, is terming out after serving in this position for six years! Her energy and love for social action has always been apparent. We will miss her on our Executive Board, but welcome her to a one-year term on our Temple Board. The same holds true for Michelle Sarason. Michelle has served as our Membership Vice President, working closely with Rita Diaz. Together with the Membership committee, they welcome new members to Temple Beth Am while engaging our existing members. The Honorable David Young will take over Lisa’s portfolio and Michelle Weber will replace Michelle Sarason. Robert Behar also is joining our Executive Committee as Recording Secretary. We say Shalom to Alex Moskovitz, Greg Sandler and Jen Levin, and welcome Cristina Krislav, Jason Haim and Stuart Gottlieb to the Temple Board.

I look forward to seeing you at our annual meeting. Remember, this is your Temple and your community. We are here for you. Please be here for us.


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