The Temple Beth El Constitution mandates that our Annual Meeting take place between Passover and Shavuot. I am not sure why our founding families decided on this time period but since it coincides with the counting of Omer it would be reasonable to assume that they saw a relationship between these two events. But what could that relationship be?
In biblical times the Omer was a time that Jews gathered together in Jerusalem to give thanks for the winter barley harvest and to begin counting towards the wheat harvest which would take place 50 days later. And so we too gather together as a community each year to give thanks: To give thanks to our Clergy and our Staff who work tirelessly to help us lead Jewish lives, to our Officers and Board members who take on the responsibility of guiding our shul, to our Keshet and Religious school teachers who passionately work to help us fulfill our obligation to educate our children, to our maintenance staff who provide a clean and safe environment for us, to our countless volunteers who define the meaning of Kehilla Kadoshah, a Holy Congregation, and to all of our donors and financial supporters who provide the resources that allow the important work that we do to continue. Being President of Temple Beth El has provided me with a unique vantage point to see our daily efforts at “repairing the world”, and I am truly in awe of all that we accomplish, and the people who make it happen.
The Torah instructs us to count the Omer in two ways; the absolute number of days and then that same number divided into weeks and days. And so Lag B”Omer is counted both as day 33 of the Omer and as 4 weeks and 5 days of the Omer. The inherent message is that there is more than one way to move into the future. And so it is fitting that during the Omer counting we elect new Officers and Board members to lead Temple Beth El. Mazel Tov to Dr. Seth Charatz and our new group of Officers. I know that they will look at TBE in a new and different way, and guide us with wisdom into our next 100 years.
I thank you for the opportunity to serve as your President. Have a wonderful summer.