Hearing and Being Heard

by Joel Brown, September 25, 2016

We are approaching the High Holiday season, and as we do at this time of year, we stop to take stock of how we’re doing in our relationships with each other and with God. The sound of the shofar reminds us that we need to pause to consider the past and plan for the future. It’s a time when we think about how we can better ourselves in the coming new year. Our tradition calls this Cheshbon Ha-Nefesh, the accounting of the soul.

Rosh Hashanah gives us, as individual Jews, a new beginning to celebrate and Yom Kippur gives us an opportunity for careful introspection. The same is true for our whole Jewish community. The Board of Directors of Solel, our shared Jewish home, have been engaging in an “accounting of the soul” of our community. We’ve been thinking carefully about our direction, considering our proud past and planning for an even better future.

Just as we might, as individuals, be making some new year’s resolutions during the High Holidays, your Board of Directors have made a new year’s resolution to redouble our efforts to provide strong leadership for the year ahead and beyond. This means we’re carefully considering our community’s vision and mission in order to ensure that we remain focused on meeting the needs of progressive Jews in 5777 (2016/7). It also means, importantly, that we’re going to take new steps to ensure that we, as Board members, are hearing your voices and you, as members of our Jewish community, know you’re being heard.

As a visible sign of our commitment to Solel members being heard by your Board of Directors, you’ll soon notice that Board members will be wearing name tags at services so that you know who we are. If there’s something on your mind, we want to hear it. You can approach any Board member before or after any service and speak to us about anything at all.

Ongoing, open conversations with Solelniks are an important part of your Board’s strategy for ensuring that we’re able to meet the evolving needs of our community. As an example of one of the concrete improvements we’ll be making as a result of these open conversations: in the coming months we will be installing assistive audio technology in our sanctuary. This will help make the experience of participation in our services more comfortable and fulfilling for some of our members and visitors.

With your help, the new year will be one in which we work together to make 5777 the best year yet for Solelniks. If you have a question, a suggestion, or something you want to discuss, we’re listening. You can talk to any Board member before or after services, or at Bet Sefer Solel. You can also contact me at any time at president@solelweb.azurewebsites.net.

Shana Tovah and a Ge’mar Chatimah Tovah

Filed under: President's Message

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