As a board, we have decided this year we would each take time during one of our services to let our congregation know how each of us came to be on the board, and what it means to us to be a part of this congregation.
For me, my story starts about 9 years ago. Our family moved to Hudson and our oldest son, Sam, was ready to start school. Since moving to the Cleveland area and getting married to my beautiful wife Amy, we did not have an affiliation with any temple. During the high holidays we sampled Temple Israel in Akron a couple of times and went to a service or two at the former Kol Chadash in Solon. Fortunately for us, we learned about Temple Beth Shalom in our own backyard, and we decided to join and enroll our son in the religious school.
We came to services once in a while and mostly attended high holy services infrequently, when we did not celebrate with my parents in the Detroit area.
Sam had a great bunch of friends that were in his class, and we would frequently carpool with some other parents based on everyone’s work schedule. The magic for me really took hold when Sam was preparing for his bar mitzvah. Sam was required to attend at least one Friday night service every month. I suggested to Amy that, since we along with the other families in similar situations needed to attend as well, why don’t you contact the Gretta’s, whom we were friends with at the time, to have a Shabbat dinner and attend services after. This really was a game changer. We became even better friends with them and soon became a monthly Friday night tradition. We stated inviting other families, and soon most or all of the original HUBSTY crew families started attending services together regularly (or at least once a month).
From there Elisa, who was already on the board, asked me to get involved, and through an invitation from Kim, I soon was a committee chair. Fast forward several years later and I am very involved and currently the President of the brotherhood and Vice President of the congregation.
Funny thing is, I still hear from others the surprise when someone who has known me my whole life finds out how involved I am, and usually disbelief hearing that I am so active.
That being said, I have really enjoyed my leadership path with the temple and my service to this congregation.
This temple has a lot to offer both spiritually and socially, but it really takes both religious and lay leadership to keep it going. Although some might find it a bit overwhelming, please reach out to myself or anyone on the board if you an interested in or even curious about what it means to be on the board or join a committee. Understand that nobody is expecting you to be the president, but rather to be a voice, make a difference, and if you want to grow with us, the opportunities are here. If you are good with website design or content, helping with holiday organization or Onegs or writing up minutes, we have a place for you. The opportunities continue, just ask… Your temple needs you! I would ask that everyone look at what our temple can do for you as well as what you can do for your temple to maintain it and move it forward in the future.
I would like to close with a quote that I wrote down the other day during a temple meeting: “We are building community from the inside.”