Introducing the 2018/19 Board of Directors

by Robbin Botnick, June 3, 2018

I had been struggling with what to write for this evening for a while, however, I was fortunate to be sitting in the Sanctuary on a couple of difference occasions recently that really gave me some perspective and some inspiration. The first was listening to a Bar Mitzvah taking about his Torah Portion. He was reading from The Book of Numbers when God instructs Moses to count the Israelites. The phrase that struck me from the portion was “Seu et Rosh”, lift up your head. So what does it mean to lift up your head? The portion talks about taking the census, standing up and being counted, but lifting up your head means more than to just show up, it means standing proud, showing your face, being present, really being part of the community. I was at another service last Friday night as the Aleph Class demonstrated that they really can read Ivrit. It was a very special service for several different reasons, first, our children did an incredible job and our teachers demonstrated the true dedication that they have to our students. The service was beautiful. It was also exceptionally well attended and there was an incredible energy that I felt as I sat in the Sanctuary. What else was also great about that service was my by chance conversation with Horace Brown, our Honourable Mensch of the year. What was striking about this conversation was him asking me if the nomination was really true and when I said absolutely, he said, “Why, I am just an ordinary guy.” I think that at Solel it is the ordinary people that sometimes hold their heads up the highest, not because they are asked to but because they truly want to. I am fortunate to have the opportunity to stand up here tonight and honour those in our Solel community who really lift up their heads.

One person can make a difference, one teacher can start a child down the path of lifelong learning; one tutor can give a child confidence to chant from the Torah; one guitar playing music teach can start a jukeleli band and can get a quiet child engaged; one card can show that we care when someone is in mourning; one hospital visit can start someone down the path of healing; one meal can make a newcomer feel welcome; one article can give the reader new perspective; one phone call can rid the library of bees and get the dishwasher restarted; one fundraiser can send a child to camp; one visit can make an elderly person feel like they are part of the community and not so alone. One person can make a huge difference, but many people can change the lives of so many. At Solel, we are fortunate to have many people who have chosen to make a difference, who have said, that I am “the somebody else” who will do something. Tonight we are honouring several of our student teachers who are truly committed to our Bet Sefer Solel students; we are honouring our mensch of the year, an ordinary guy who has made an extraordinary difference; and we are honouring our board members, past and present, who support Solel in every way. As we talk about the installation of our new board I must start by thanking two individuals who are resigning their board roles this year, Jeff Wilkinson and Bayla Greenberg-Consitt. Jeff has been a long serving and truly dedicated board member. In many ways Jeff has served to remind the board that Solel is about people and while the boards purpose is hold fiduciary responsibly for the congregation it is also to be responsible for our community. Jeff often serves as the moral conscience of the board and his enthusiasm and insights will be missed at the board table. Fortunately, Jeff is involved in so much more at Solel and I know that he will continue to support our congregation in so many other ways. Bayla is also a long serving board member and has been our Treasurer for the last several years. Bayla has been the quiet voice in the room but her presence is truly felt. The role of Treasurer is vitally important and Bayla has performed this role not just by bringing her incredible knowledge and talent to the table but also through her incredible commitment of time and energy. We will miss both Jeff and Bayla at our Monday night gatherings but I know they will continue to lift up their heads in our community. I would also like to thank our new and returning Executive and Board Members of 2018-2019 for continuing to lift up their heads and support our wonderful congregation.

  • Immediate Past President: Joel Brown
  • First Vice-President: Roselyn Allen
  • Second Vice-President: Kevin Shine
  • Acting Treasurer and Membership Committee Representative: Ted Greenberg
  • Executive Secretary: Marlene Tash
  • Education Committee Representative: Kim Mayne
  • Religious Committee Representative David Gordon
  • Sisterhood Representative Nicole Hansen
  • 2 Year Member at Large John Lewsen, Jocelyn Webber and Emma Weizenbluth
  • 1 Year Member at Large Wayne Romberg, Deb Stoch and Pam Yudcovitch
  • Director of Education Arliene Botnick
  • Rabbi, Audrey Pollack.



Filed under: President's Message

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