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A Message from the President ~ July 2024

Happy New Year! As always, we mark our new fiscal year with our newly souped up Annual Membership Meeting and a lay leadership slate. 

I asked; you answered! At the Annual Membership Meeting on June 29th, amidst the rousing music and interactive presentations, members wrote their answers to two questions: 1) In what positive ways did KI change since COVID? and 2) What do we need to focus on this coming year?  Click here to see all of the revealing responses. 

Generally, there were three categories of answers to Question 1. Members love the spike in congregant engagement and the exciting feeling of renewed community at KI.  2. Members love Rabbi David and the energy he brings. 3. Members love Friday night Shabbat Services for the music and community. 

At the same time, we all know there are challenges that houses of worship everywhere are facing. It’s not a surprise that KI is not immune to these changes in demographics and is determined to do more with less in innovative and bold ways. Your support over the years – and into the future – is what makes KI strong for our children and generations to come. Members also wrote that they want to see us build on our already robust community. From Strength to Strength.

I’m happy to welcome to the Board of Directors four individuals who are eager to bring their experience and perspective to our governance. Please congratulate Alan Barbell (at-large), Lise Marlowe (at-large), Jaimie Shmelzer (Membership Committee Chair), and Robert Zaslow (at-large) when you see them! Wish them well as they prepare for summer Director Orientation. 

Thank you, Arlene Holtz, Sue Fried, and Karen Langsfeld for your years of valuable service as Directors and Andy Eimer for your service as Trustee. I look forward to working with you as you continue to be active leaders at KI. 

Finally, please join me in welcoming our new Campus Partner, Congregations of Shaare Shamayim. They have begun renovations in the Rothschild wing and plan to join us in the building as soon as possible. I look forward to building with our Congregants strong and collaborative relationships with their Congregants! 

I’m confident that you can name at least a handful of activities, events, and changes that lifted your spirits this past year. These are all the result of the hard work and immense skills of the professional staff, clergy, volunteers, lay leaders, and you, the Congregants of Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel. 

Here’s to an exciting year ahead.