A Message from Our President

Words from our Temple President, Rochelle Lafer

February 2023

Welcome to winter in Sun City Center. As I write this column, the temperature has gone from the low 40’s this morning to a high temperature in the low 60’s. Tomorrow
morning, we are expected to head down into the 30’s, with the high temperature only reaching the low 50’s. Yes, this is cold for our area of Florida, and yes, we only deal
with this type of weather for a brief period of time.

My oldest son and his wife and their two sons (ages 3 and 5—and the loves of my life!) currently live in Buffalo, NY. During the last big storm that hit the northeastern section of the country, Buffalo received a record breaking amount of snow. They were stuck in their home for 5 days. Following the storm, there were a variety of stories that
began to circulate about the wonderful people who were there to help one another survive in a time of real crisis. It seemed to bring out the best in people and help to restore our faith in the human race!

Here in Sun City Center, we get our fair share of storms, and we even get an occasional hurricane or tropical storm. We have learned to stock up on the essentials and fill up the bathtub with water (to flush the toilet!) and patiently wait out the weather. We saw this in action during the
High Holy Days this past year when the hurricane arrived on our doorstep. When the sun came out at the end of the storm, a wonderful group of our members arrived at the Temple on the Sunday between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur to help clean up the outside of the Temple. As the saying goes, “many hands make light work”, and it didn’t take long before the parking lot at Beth Israel was cleaned up and ready to use for Yom Kippur.

So, what is the point of all of this? We can’t just wait for a crisis to step up and help our Beth Israel family. To keep our Temple running, we do need your financial support,
but there is something else that is just as important. Without volunteers to do all the things that need to happen, nothing would get done! The only paid employee at Beth Israel is our wonderful Rabbi. It is our amazing group of volunteers that make everything continue to function. From cleaning and fixing to the set-up for programing and our incredible technology team (yes, the group in the closet!), we all volunteer our time and assorted skills.

If you look at the list of officers at the front of this Shalom News, you will see that we are still missing one key officer. For the last three years, we have been functioning without a First Vice President. Yes we continue to get everything done that needs to happen, but it is the First Vice President who ultimately moves up to become President. Serving as President is not a lifetime commitment! Please think about the skills that you have and consider coming on our Executive Board to help Beth Israel continue to move in the right direction!

May we go from strength to strength,


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