THE BEST IS YET TO COME
Out of the tree of life I just picked me a plum
You came along and everything started’ to hum
Still it’s a real good bet
The best is yet to come
from The Best is Yet to Come, by Carolyn Leigh and Cy Coleman
O l’ Blue Eyes knew what he was talking about when he espoused this optimistic vison of the future with these words in song. And as we begin a new year, our 65th by the way, I too see good things for the Malverne Jewish Center as I look back at the challenges and accomplishments over the past year and what the future holds for us going forward.
As you may recall, at this time last year we were implementing the new extended and enhanced lease and most importantly, we had recently celebrated the formal installation of Rabbi Elkodsi as our spiritual leader. With these major accomplishments and lingering uncertainties behind us, you asked: What more was there to do?
Well, we learned awfully quickly when the Berger Room ceiling literally came down upon us as work
began on the installation of a fire sprinkler system to comply with existing codes. While it seems like Moses led our people to the Promised Land in less time than it is taking to restore the ceiling, working closely with the Bridge Church has led to real progress recently being made on the installation of an attractive ceiling containing modern LED lighting. If the local and county inspectors do their thing without delay, we will have our ceiling in place for High Holiday services. Thank you, Pastor Dan, and the Bridge Church.
No sooner had the ceiling in the Berger Room come down, we experienced another ceiling incident in our parsonage. Succumbing to the extremely cold weather we were having at the time, a pipe burst and caused extensive damage to the ceiling and other parts of the house. Fortunately, Herb Brodsky was not off on one of his Rocky Mountain High jaunts and was able to triage the broken pipe before we were looking at a redux of Noah’s Ark. From then on, Herb took complete charge of the repairs and restoration, from hiring and managing the contractors, to obtaining the required permits and very importantly, ushering through the insurance claim and getting a fair settlement. Thanks Herb for being our general contractor, permit-getter and insurance claims manager. We were truly in good hands (sorry, I couldn’t let that one go).
Now that we’ve dealt with a new lease, making certain that Rabbi Elkodsi would remain as our spiritual leader for the longer term, new ceilings, burst pipes, etc., it’s time to build on the solid foundation that has always defined our congregation and do a little soul-searching and think about what kind of congregation we see ourselves being going forward.
What is our vision for the longer term? What do we see as our synagogue’s mission? Should our mission include increasing the outreach efforts we have going on beyond our immediate community to offer programs as a means of growing our membership? Just as importantly, how do get our present members more engaged in the life of our shul? How do we make certain we have a minyan for Shabbat services and support our friends who are saying kaddish by enabling them to do so? And finally, what should our role be in our own community? As I’ve discussed in previous articles, these are issues with which we must begin to deal and will begin doing so immediately following the High Holidays.
Speaking of the High Holidays, which are fast approaching, it’s been traditional that I report to you on the state of MJC. Let me say that our shul is quite healthy, both in terms of our finances but more importantly, in the continued strength of the bonds and affection we have for each other. Most of our members have long histories of raising families within the MJC community and have always been there for when the call went out, be it to join in saying kaddish for a congregant’s loved one or to just listen when listening can mean so much. This has always been our strong point and I am optimistic beyond any doubt that it will remain strongly intact and keep us going as a congregation. As we commemorate Year 65 (you’ll be hearing more about that), let us truly believe that . . . it’s a real good bet, the best is yet to come.
At this time, Emilee and I would like to extend our best wishes to you and your family for a New Year filled with only good things. I look forward to seeing you at High Holiday services and at our services and other events throughout the year.
L’ Shana Tova.
Dave Feldman, President