Last time I sat down to write a President's Message for Temple Beth Ami, we had just hired a young Rabbi named Mark Blazer. Now, fourteen years later, it's my honor and joy to lead this synagogue again.
When I first got involved with the Temple, I never thought I was going to be President even once. I had just moved to Santa Clarita, a young mother looking for a place to continue my children's Jewish education. I already knew that Temple membership was a necessary part of that because without somewhere to put it into practice, learning about Jewish observance is meaningless. As my older son put it, after one yearat an unaffiliated religious school, "Mom, why don't we do any of this stuff?"
So "this stuff": candle lighting and Shabbat services, High Holy Days, Purim and Sukkot, was already part of my life. But, I have to say, it was something of a chore, something you did for the kids because it was good for them. It wasn't until I discovered Temple Beth Ami, that I learned that Judaism could actually be fun as well as meaningful.
The warmth of this congregation and its unstuffy "come as you are" attitude are what first attracted me and what I hope to preserve and expand while I serve as president. Regardless of whether our congregation grows in numbers (and I hope it will) it can always grow in love, in wisdom, in beauty and in joy.
As we enjoy the heat of summer (or not!) and behind-the -scenes preparation for the High Holy Days begins, I hope you will join me in "doing this stuff." Come to an Open House, Shabbat in the Park or the Beach Havdalah. Join one of our Adult Ed classes.
To our congregants on the European Heritage Tour and to all who are away for the summer, a safe journey and a warm welcome home! To our new trustee at large Robin Bratslavsky, our outgoing Past President John Stulman, to all the 2014/2015 board members who are continuing to serve, and to everyone who has helped to make this temple what it is today, my heartfelt thanks.