A Message from Our President

Words from our Temple President, Ricki Bauman

June/July 2024

      From the Book of Proverbs, Chapter 31:

31:10 A worthy woman, who can find? Her value is far beyond that of pearls of coral.

31:26 She opens her mouth with wisdom and the instruction of continuous love is on
her tongue

31:31 Give her the fruit of her hands and let her deed praise her in the gates.

How do you describe our immediate Past President and current Ritual Co-Director Rochelle Lafer? She literally lives by doing, by giving, and all is done with love for Beth Israel and the Beth Israel family. As the “Queen of the Kitchen”, we see her there tirelessly! So where am I going with this? Let’s continue?

Our building was constructed in 1988, thirty-six years ago. This was long before the pandemic, long before flat screen TVs, LEDs, streaming, and long before the indispensable internet as we know it today. As old Rafiki says in The Lion King, “It is time.” Change is never easy, and it is clearly not cheap. But our current Sanctuary
lighting directly conflicts with our video screens and liturgy. They are just hard to see with intense glare from the chandeliers, especially for the Rabbi on the Bima. By the time you read this, the new lighting will be a reality in the Sanctuary, lobby, Rabbi’s office, Temple office, and the tech room, bringing us far better lighting at far less
expense with far less maintenance.

At the same time, we have the Henry Gibson Social Hall where we are always eating food—with carpet as flooring material. We can all see the many stains that do not come out, even with professional cleaning. We will be replacing the carpet and installing a new laminate floor—top of the line—in the Social Hall, kitchen, and hallway. This material is the same or better quality than the new flooring in St. Andrew’s Social Hall. We have heard concerns about noise—here’s the answer: some of us attend meetings at St. Andrew and recently a number of us were at a craft fair there. Two of our congregants were vendors there, and despite the large number of vendors, buyers, and exhibitors, you could easily hear and carry on conversations.

And here we come full circle—our Rochelle Lafer has graciously donated about 95% of the cost of these two projects! Without her, our dreams for Beth Israel would not have come through. When you see Rochelle, please thank her for her philanthropy!

When the lighting and flooring are both completed, we will advertise in our local papers and have an Open House with wine and cheese to show off our renovated spiritual home.