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The ancient rabbis spoke about four New Year’s Days in the Jewish calendar, including the one we are all familiar with — Yom Kippur, which they described as the new year of the world and the seasons. I would like to propose a fifth New Year’s Day, the new year of the Temple board. Every year on July 1, we at Temple Beth Israel and at synagogues throughout the country welcome new members to our boards of trustees and appoint new officers to lead those boards. These people bring their time and talents to develop the religious, educational, and social programs that have made TBI the foremost Jewish institution in the Pomona Valley for almost 90 years. As the incoming president, I look forward to working with them and the wonderful professional staff, including Rabbi Kupetz, Cantor Buch, TLCC director Robin McConnell, and administrator Barry Weisband.
Those of you who are long-time members of TBI may remember that I have served in this position once before. You may wonder, therefore, why I would choose to reprise my time as president. There are several reasons for my decision, many of which I will describe in future columns. For now, let me mention just one: you do not say no to Laura Zuckerman. During the last two years Laura served as an exemplary president. Under her leadership, our synagogue made the successful transition out of COVID, inaugurated the new Tree of Life Children’s Center, implemented several new security upgrades to our facilities, and developed many other valuable programs and policies.
On behalf of the entire congregation, I wish to thank Laura for her tireless service and constant enthusiasm over the past two years. I recognize that Laura’s will be large shoes to fill, but I am comforted by knowing that she will remain on the board as past president and active in several important initiatives.
As we welcome the new board, may we recognize and be thankful for all those, past and present, who have sustained us and enabled us to reach this new year.
Gary Gilbert, President, TBI Board of Trustees
Email Gary Gilbert, President, TBI Board of Trustees