Rabbi Joe Blair
December 24, 2007
I was asked to write a report to the Congregation for the annual meeting. I did, and it turned out FAR too long to deliver, so I gave a very abbreviated verbal summary. It was suggested that I post the report in segments here on the blog. It sounded like a good idea, so here goes!
Rabbi's Report to the Annual Meeting of the Congregation, December 2nd, 2007
This was my fourth full year with the congregation (I am at this point half-way through my fifth year, the final year of my second contract period with the two congregations). I have learned a great deal over that time, and have found some things that led me to function more effectively in my role, and a few that were not successful and which I will not choose to continue in future. In many ways this has been not only a learning process, but an opportunity for me to grow and mature as a rabbi. I am grateful to the members of the two congregations for their generosity of spirit in allowing me to continue to learn and to grow as I seek to serve you. I have to tell you that from my perspective this year has flown by. This has been another year of much activity and many firsts: highly productive and very busy. I would like to very briefly recap the significant highlights of what has taken place during the past year, and offer a taste of a little of what is planned for the coming year. This has been a very rich, rewarding, and meaningful period for me, in serving as your rabbi. First, let me say how much I have enjoyed seeing our community take on more vibrancy and activity. I am pleased to be part of a Jewish group and a Jewish community that is flowering before our very eyes. We have made a quantum leap from a sleepy, small, fading congregation to a dynamic, active, energetic, and enthusiastic community. You will hear at this meeting that our numbers are up, and our finances are much improved. We have welcomed new members and held close our long-time members. We have re-established old connections, and forged new ties between our members. We have renewed old traditions, and added new ones. We have improved our physical building, and expanded our spiritual home. We have sought to imbue our worship and our activities with ruach (spirit), meaning, and spirituality. We have been willing to experiment a bit, to try new things to see how they feel, and to also retain those things that we feel are important and help define us. We have worked to be more inclusive and welcoming. And all of this has paid off - look around and see! I commend all of you – it is YOUR doing – and it is YOUR congregation. I hope you will keep up the good work, build on what has been accomplished, and continue to go from strength to strength. Cont'd.