A Short Brief by Barry


President Barry Deutsch has so much to say and not always the forum to do so. Please visit his blog from time to time and see what he has to say on a variety of topics.

Other Posts
Temple Menorah President's Weekly Message
New Year New Menorah

Our marketing committee, led by Dave Dreyer and Evan Greene, have developed a theme for the High Holy Days of NEW YEAR NEW MENORAH. Our marketing committee is doing some amazing work in branding, PR, and communications. They’re overflowing with ideas for building a stronger community at Temple Menorah. Perhaps, you’ve seen some of their branding, literature, or flyers featuring this new theme. By now you’ve probably seen this line used in our High Holy Day materials, and on the King Harbor sign.

While I love it as a marketing headline, I see it as so much more. We have truly become a new Menorah. Although it takes nothing away from the work Rabbi Silver did over 30 years to build a strong foundation here, there’s a new energy in our community that is inescapable. Everywhere I turn I see new programs, new families, and smiling faces from our existing congregants. From our “Come Say Chai” event welcoming Rabbi Lewis to our community, to our Musical Shabbat Service set to The Who, our community is coming alive with energy, enthusiasm, and a new-found desire to build relationships and connections.

This desire for relationships and connections has come through loud and clear in our recent surveys, and in the “meet-and-greets” with Rabbi Lewis over the last few months. Both she and I have been thinking very deeply about how we embed into the fabric of our community deep bonds, relationships, friendships, and connections.

This new Menorah is not my Menorah, or Rabbi Lewis’ Menorah, it’s our Menorah. We are a community, and together, we can set the tone for our synagogue. It’s simply up to us. If we want a vibrant community, then let’s make it a vibrant community.

Two years ago, in our Hanukkah celebration, I talked about the idea of re-kindling our Menorah Light. Shining a fresh, vibrant, bright candle on our congregation, and starting to transform who we are as a community. We’ve seen tremendous progress in this transformation of our community over the last couple of years. I’ll talk more about where we’ve come from and where we’re headed in my “state of union” on Rosh Hashanah.

Even though we’ve made great progress, there is still much to be done, ranging from re-launching our Chavurah program to to building a strong pillar of social justice and advocacy. To make these changes, to enable our transformation, and to re-kindle the Menorah Light, it takes active involvement from a significant portion of the congregation - volunteers who are committed, engaged, excited, and passionate about our future as a congregation and community.

So as we approach this new year, I’d like you to think about two questions:

  1. What does the New Menorah look like to you?
  2. How do you plan to participate in the New Menorah?

The first question will probably come to you easily. It’s most likely been on your mind for years. It’s the second question that requires some thought.

Participation doesn’t always mean joining a committee. Of course, I’d love for you to volunteer for one our core committees that help guide us – from our finance/budget committee to our youth/teen committee; however, I realize that type of volunteer role is not for everyone. But I am asking you to get involved in any way you feel comfortable. I’m asking you not to be a spectator sitting on the sideline waiting for someone else to make it happen. Whether it’s playing a role in our religious services, making a financial contribution above and beyond your dues/fees, or getting involved in helping to make Temple Menorah a second home for your family. These opportunities for volunteering are too numerous for me to mention in this article – but you’ll hear much more about them through-out our High Holy Day services.

It truly is such an exciting time for our synagogue. Together, we have the ability to make it the community we want it to be.

I look forward to seeing everyone at Rosh Hashanah.

L’Shana Tova,

Barry Deutsch