Just before noon on June 10, I was handed a microphone and began my tenure as the next president of Temple Shalom. I am honored that I can do this again (last time was 1998–2002). This was my choice, no one had to convince me that this was the right thing to do.
Ever since we became members of Temple Shalom shortly after moving to Louisville (1992, which makes us sort of newcomers) I have been impressed by the dedication of the founders who shepherded it through some rough times in the early years. Once there was an established home (and eventually a second home) the congregation’s existence became a less in doubt, and while membership is declining at all congregations across America (the largest affiliation listed as “None”) we face additional challenges and I believe that we are more than capable of taking them on and coming out even stronger.
We depend on volunteers to make things happen. A number of members have told us about specific ways they would like to help, and I will be calling on them for their participation. I’ve always been pleased when people respond to requests to handle a particular task. We’ve offered some really great events based solely on volunteer efforts and I have no reason to think that it will not be possible to do so again.
My first priority is to get folks to help in planning and putting on the next Annual Dinner of the congregation, scheduled for Saturday evening, November 3, and multiple Shabbat evening events between now and then. Next August will mark 30 years in our current building, and I see a blow-out celebration of that milestone.
I am also reviving the Temple Improvement Plan as a way of bringing to everyone’s attention things we would “like” but not necessarily “need” that can bring in some additional funds to help support programming. In the fall, you will see a brochure outlining a number of projects ranging from just $100 to many thousands which serve to improve our ability to take care of our home and enjoy some extras. Last time around, we raised $70,000—if we can do it again, maybe we won’t have to delay repaving our parking lot, or we can put an entire new roof on the building sooner rather than later.
How can you help? Take ownership. Ideas are already being floated to help do that. Think “I am Temple Shalom”; each of us are ambassadors of our congregation.
Rich Goldwin, President of Temple Shalom