Hello, I Must be Going
You’re reading the final Shofar column of my TIS political career. I’m leaving office on Friday, June 30. While the Immediate Past President stays in our leadership & management, the IPP no longer actually runs anything (except for the Nominating Committee every January-to-March) and never has anything to report.
During the past seven years I’ve been running a lot of things at TIS and have frequently taken to these pages to inform you about things happening or about to happen. Four active years as Administrative VP frequently had me reporting to you on: re-doing the Sanctuary ceiling and doubling its illumination, the upgrading of our security via two Federal Homeland Security grants and finally re-paving the parking lot long after it should have been done. My personal highlight of those four years was finally getting the wheelchair/baby buggy ramp installed in the Sanctuary, after having been repeatedly thwarted in my efforts to accomplish this, year-after-frustrating-year, by the TIS leaders of that era.
In my three years as your President, I’ve reported to you on the conversion from fixed membership dues to our voluntary T’rumah model of financing synagogue operations, a third Homeland Security grant which will much further enhance our personal security, the installation of hundreds of solar panels on the unused field and on the roof, and finally, on the biggest TIS story of the century (or of our lifetimes): the hiring of Rabbi Joshua Dorsch to be our next rabbi.
I have to admit it: Most of the time I loved being president of this congregation, and not only because I have never before had my own designated parking space anywhere. I was TIS President off-site too, frequently in the greater Jewish and non-Jewish San Diego community, such as being a San Diego Jewish Community representative at meetings of Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman’s Community Advisory Board.
There were, of course, more than a few days during these past three years when I wished someone else (“Oh God—please—anyone else”) were President. But, the bottom-line for me was that being president opened doors and helped me to better get-to-know so many of my wonderful fellow congregants.
My goals upon taking office in 2014 were to honor the office of President as Dr. Seth Krosner did before me, to make myself accessible to our members, to be as open and transparent as I could, to run Board and Executive Committee meetings in a businesslike manner and to keep them on track, and, most importantly, to properly make those tough decisions that only presidents make, and that all of you entrusted me to make. Only time will tell if I succeeded.
And with that, I formally say goodbye, and I will morph into the elder statesman role of “Immediate Past President with no responsibilities”. My knowledge and experience will always be available publicly or privately (but only upon request) to our great synagogue’s next generation of lay leaders should any of them ever feel the need. I’m very comforted that TIS will be in the highly capable hands of our next president, Seth Krosner.
I thank all of my Vice-Presidents and Board members for having helped me to constantly try to leave TIS better than we found it. And, I include in that, the members of our enthusiastic and outstanding staff (professional, office, and maintenance), who are the ones who actually, and literally, make it all happen, each and every day.
Finally, a giant THANK YOU to Sue, my loving and generous wife of almost 46 years, for granting to me the freedom to serve you as needed, on a daily basis, during these past seven years. I thank her most for appreciating, understanding and respecting the meaning of the words: “I can’t talk about it”. She heard that a lot.
Dear Friends: The giving to me of your trust and confidence, by electing me to be your President three times, has been the singular greatest honor ever bestowed upon me in my lifetime. I am very grateful.
See you in shul.
Still President (for now)
Nobody’s Lame Duck