From the CBS President

President’s Rosh Hashanah message:
Shalom my friends. I am so pleased to see you all here and know that the rest of you:

are online. We have this great property with all these life-giving trees, and to be able
worship in person under the trees and tent that Sisterhood got for us a few years ago
and enjoy the setting and the outdoors is something that I am so pleased about. Also, I
want to say thank you Rabbi Cohen. Your leadership, through worship and the many
classes and activities that you have spearheaded in this last year, are so appreciated. I
have to tell you all, that Rabbi Cohen and I work really well together, and it is not
because we always agree because we don’t. But we are always respectful and able to
talk things thru with honesty and openness, and that been a really great experience for
me and, Rabbi, I want to tell you, in front of everyone, how much I really appreciate the
working relationship we have – the partnership of the business of the synagogue with
the spirituality of the synagogue. Thank you for being our interim Rabbi.

Also, a big thank you to the religious practices committee, Dan Ediden, Mary Hartigan,
Jenn Book Hasselswerdt, Joel Ray, Debbie Kaplan, who is also our intrepid Religious
School Director, and Rabbi Cohen for all time they put into planning and shifting and
replanning our religious services during these pandemic times. I think that flexibility was
the theme of the Jewish year 2781, and I think it is going to be the same for 2782, and
that means a lot of meetings and plans, and replans, and this committee does that work

I hope that you all have been able to participate in one of the formats that are available
for services – in person or online – and that thru them you are able to feel the
connection to this community. Because it is your community, and the volunteers work
hard to make it a welcoming and active one.

I also must give a big thank you to Steve Woods and Seth Rosner, who are our resident
sound and video guys, and bring their technological know-how and support to make
these services happen in person and online. I also want to thank our newly formed
Building and Grounds committee, which is the brainchild of Julie Rosenfeld, and will be

working hard over the next months to get our gorgeous property upgraded and well
maintained, and if any of you feel like helping in that endeavor, please let me know.

There is also a much longer list of people who have made this service possible,
including Laura Flacks-Narroll and the sisterhood, the Men’s Club volunteers who raise
the tent, and my husband and son who get roped into helping with just about every
aspect of these things, as does Rick Diamont, and our board members, who are

Vice President Tim Parshall
Treasurer Michael Gardner
Secretary Paul Eisenstein
Members at Large are
Marc Alexander
Julie Rosenfeld
Seth Rosner
Ben Tractenburg
And Emily Fuller

They are a hard-working and patient board, and we are lucky to have each of them
serving our community in this way.

This is my last year giving a High Holy Speech. I did it for two years as the vice
president, last year as the pandemic president I spoke to no one – a camera – and just
hoped you all could watch it ok and that our community would be able to figure out the
technological and social challenges of the times. It has been challenging time to be a
community leader to say the least, and I hope that I have done a good job of continuing
to build on the strengths of our community that were already in place, while also solving
some of the longer-term challenges that we have faced. There have been some great
moments, and some super frustrating ones, but now I look out and see all of you on this
amazing piece of property and I know that we are a community of love and resilience,
and we are going to continue to grow and connect with each other. And I am not just
saying that. I have seen it in the Sisterhood events through the summer, in the tot

shabbats, and the pizza social events, in the celebrations and in the funerals, as well as
the weekly worship.

Did you know that there are two Bat Mitzvot and one Bar Mitzvah coming up in the next
two months? There is also a birthday celebration musical extravaganza. We, as a
community, want to be together and we are continuing to determine, best we can, how
to make that happen while staying true to our foundational desire to be inclusive – a big
tent community – starting with this week’s decision to worship outdoors where everyone
can come and feel a little safer with the fresh air and distancing that the setting allows.

As you each start your days of awe – your period of reflection and repentance – I ask
you to keep your Congregation Beth Shalom in your consideration. In order to continue
to move forward, we need you, at services, at social events, and of course, your
contributions of time, equipment, money, and spirit. We are a diverse community in all
the ways, one that includes Jews by choice, Jews by birth, and people who are not
themselves Jewish but are members of Jewish families and so are also members of our
community. While we are affiliated with the Reform movement, we have many members
who consider themselves Conservative, Orthodox, or Reconstructionist.

So, for our philosophy of inclusion to continue to be successful, we each need to speak
up, to participate, to work with each other to create the setting we each need. Let’s keep
our hearts and minds open, speak up and listen. Every event and every service should
start with the question – how can all community members be part of this? We are
starting this new year with new, modern High Holy Day prayerbooks and outdoor
services, and now I am asking each one of you to continue to be a part of that effort to
worship and celebrate and mourn and socialize together with inclusion and welcoming
as the foundation from which we continue to build this excellent synagogue community.

Thank you for your time. Thank you for being such a supportive and wonder Jewish
community. L’Shanah Tova.

Janna Lancaster
President, CBS Board

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