As I started to write this article I was sitting in an airport in Phoenix waiting for my connection back to Los Angeles. Early this week I was on the other side of the country attending a dear relative’s funeral; a very untimely death. A young man at 65 years old. A man in perfect health, a nice business and a wonderful wife and family. Gone. Just like that. No medical explanation. No good reason. Very sad and tragic.
Although I was family, I had a unique perspective. I am sure all of you have had at one time or another that experience while attending the event, but I really knew very few people. I was able to participate as a family member yet watch everyone as an outsider. What I noticed was how lucky my relative was because he had so many family, friends, business associates and fellow congregants attend his services. He was a rich man in many ways. We should all be as fortunate as he.
The Rabbi, a young fellow about 31 years old, did a wonderful job for each service, just like our Rabbi Blazer does. In the evening after the services ended I introduced myself to the Rabbi. I told him I was impressed how he handled himself … for a 31 year old Rabbi. We shared a few chuckles. Naturally, I asked him how his congregation was handling the current economic environment and he advised that they were having the same issues many other congregations were having. For example, maintaining membership, trying to determine the right membership model, how to increase revenue and reduce expenses without cutting important programs that affect the entire organization and finally how to meet their annual budget. I was somewhat surprised because these are the same issues TBA is addressing and working through. Believe this or not, based on my conversation with this Rabbi and our own Rabbi, TBA is doing a very good job managing itself in many ways now, especially, financially. We are, at this time, within our budget and if we all do what we promised we would do at the start of the fiscal year, we will end the 2013-2014 fiscal year within budget.
Now for some big news that I have been waiting to tell you for some time now, because the transaction has been completed. I am very proud to say that we have refinanced our property. The refinance will save the congregation about $9500 annually. It is my intent, as I promised you during High Holidays, to pay down our debt with this savings. Thank you’s are in order for our Treasurer Jennifer Ihrig and Dan May. Dan’s 11th hour expert assistance and critical support were essential in seeing the transaction through. Additionally, the refinance could not have been completed without the guidance, assistance, patience and of course the money of the Bank of Santa Clarita whose team worked with us through the long and arduous process.
Even though I was not able to attend the event, my sources reported to me that the Purim Carnival was a success. I would be remiss if I did not thank Debra Block and her Purim committee for a job well done!
Even though we may not see eye to eye all of the time, I consider myself a very lucky person to be part of our congregation. As I sit here finishing this article I am constantly reminding myself how fortunate I am, we are, to have the community we have, the loving family and friends that we have, the clergy that we have as well as staff that we have. We really do have a lot to be thankful for during this time of Passover…
PS. If you’d like see TBA provide a service or function and would like to champion the idea, please let us know.