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06/01/2019 12:00:00 AM


Deb Bakal

Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change.
- Mary Wollenstonecraft Shelley

Change is natural; change is good; change is difficult. Our leadership has changed as it does every year, and I am honored to be the new president of our congregation. I have been on the board of the temple since 2003 and have enjoyed being active and contributing to our community. Now I step up to the highest position with excitement as well as trepidation as I take this responsibility very seriously. I stand on the shoulders of so many past presidents and board members who have brought so much to us all. Over the last few years, Laura Shulman Reitman and Amy Novick and others have recommended that we move from MM2000, the member management software system we have used since the early 2000’s, to a more modern cloud-based system. Through the efforts of these two forward-thinking women, as well as Terrie O’Day (immediate past president), Mark Schlossberg, Hollie Yanaga, and Mike Myers, we are in the process of making this transition to ShulCloud. Hollie does software implementation for a living and is volunteering her time to support this endeavor. Laura Reitman has lead the charge with researching these options and managing the details. Matt Hallaron, Max Thalhammer, and Anne Gruettner are also involved in this process. The Susan Lynn Krupp Fund has donated money as well, to insure that we can afford the implementation.

But change is hard. We ask for your patience with this process. When my dermatology practice transitioned from paper medical records to electronic, there were some challenges. It took about one year for the practice to adjust. We should all expect that there will be hiccups and bumps in the road. This new synagogue software system will allow us all to pay our membership contributions online, register and pay for events, and make donations online. Our website and video board will be linked to the software system so that our publicity volunteers can post information one time, rather than multiple times. We will be able to update and modernize our website for mobile devices. For those of you who prefer to pay by check and work on paper, those options will still be available. I am excited for this new system and all it will bring to us, and I am grateful to the volunteers who have made this change happen.

So many of us love our printed Tikvahite, but in order to keep our membership contributions at an affordable level, the budget committee has chosen for this year to produce only a digital version. For those of us who do not do digital, Lucy will print out and send a copy, but we are trying to be green and also save money. This digital version will be produced six times a year rather than our previous eleven, as we will have more capability with ShulCloud to share information via the website and our regular emailed updates.

Another change we are instituting this year regards the process for receiving High Holy Day tickets. In the past we have required that you request tickets for yourself and your family. This year, as long as your membership is in good standing, we will send you your High Holy Day tickets shortly before the holidays without you having to request them. If you want to purchase additional tickets for members of your family that aren’t Beth Tikvah members, you will need to request them from Lucy, our office administrator. We can send you that form at your request, and it will be available through our biweekly email updates. As a reminder, for any children over 21 who are self-supporting are not members under your membership, you will need to request and purchase tickets for them. Since we cannot know whose 21-year-old and older children are self-supporting, you will need to request tickets for them if you want them to attend with you. We would love for your adult children to join our community as members and can offer affordable options for these young adults to do so and get their own High Holy Day tickets.

We are also changing our High Holy Day prayer books as mentioned in Rabbi’s article from last month’s newsletter. You will be able to purchase your own copies and/or donate copies in memory and honor of friends and family if you like. We will have the new prayer books available for our worshippers this fall through a generous donation from Steve and Marla Leibach and the Susan Lynn Krupp Fund.

Lastly, we can all see the visible changes in our building through the tremendous efforts of the Our House Committee led by Terrie O’Day and Ilene Kettering, extraordinary women with an extraordinary vision for our community. Other members of the committee include Lorrie Galek, Steve Schlesinger, Eric Singer, Mike Myers, Sharon Faier, Debbie Krupp, Howard Washer, Victoria Vrtjak, Harvey Pokorney, Bruce Cohen, David Fiedler, Robbie Sax and Scott Lesht. Please thank these individuals for their countless hours of time to beautify our space.

Have a wonderful summer and please let me know if you would like to meet or chat by phone about Beth Tikvah. I would love to talk with you.

Deb Bakal

Fri, July 3 2020 11 Tammuz 5780