A few weeks ago, we read about Yitro, Moses’ father-in-law. He was an incredibly wise man who, after observing Moses attempt to lead the Israelite people, helped his son-in-law establish a well-organized community. Yitro did this by teaching Moses that no one can create a community on their own. Yitro watched as Moses attempted to do everything for the Israelites. Without hesitation, he tells his son-in-law: “The task is too heavy for you; you cannot do it alone” With Yitro’s help, Moses created a team of leaders that worked with him to create a strong Israelite community.

This week, as I continue to focus on the people and moments that have defined my past 13 years here at Ramat Shalom, I want to thank the incredible team of people who have given and continue to give so much to make Ramat Shalom the community she is today. As the Rabbi, I am the most visible member of this team and often get the credit for the synagogue’s many accomplishments. The fact is, none of these accomplishments would be possible if it were not for our staff or lay leaders. These people give so much time, energy and passion to make us who we are. Plus, they put up with me – no easy task!

The past 13 years at Ramat Shalom have been defined by so many special people, including:

  • Leslie Goldman, our Executive Director
  • Cantor Debbie
  • Beth Michell, our Education Director, and her Torah School team
  • Allison Sands, our Early Childhood Director, and her ECC team
  • Barbara Laing, my right and left hand
  • Nancy Wyman, our bookkeeper
  • Mr. Denis and Mr. Tito, our maintenance staff
  • Amy Freund and Miriam Lomnitzer, our B’nai Mitzvah tutors
  • Many who are no longer officially part of the professional team, but whose impact helped shape who we are today, including: including: Cantors Sharon and Natalie, Marney Tokar, Lydia Colon and the late Harriet Kamerow z”l.
  • Our incredible lay leaders who have served under the guidance of dedicated Presidents, including: Donna Berger, Allyn Kanowsky, William Freund, Leslie Goldman, Bretta Schachner, Anita Platt and our current President, Craig Mayer.

As we gather on March 29th to celebrate my 13th year, the truth is we gather to celebrate all of these people because I could not have done it alone. These people – and many more – have played a significant role in shaping our wonderful synagogue.  I hope you will join me on March 29th as we thank them for all that they have given to us!

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