President's Message

Dear TBS Family and Friends,

It is an honor to serve as your president of Temple Beth Sholom. TBS has been a major part of my life and the lives of my family. My wife Heather and I joined in 2006, shortly before our first daughter, Jordan, was born. Jordan started with Mommy & Me classes as an infant, then joined the 2's, 3's, 4's, and enjoyed Camp Keshet in the summers. Her younger sister, Alison, followed the same track. Some of my favorite memories include spending time in the Beit Midrash on a Friday morning when one of them was Shabbat girl that day. If only TBS had daycare at that time, we would have enrolled them even sooner! We quickly met other families with young children and began to form lasting friendships that remain in place to this day. Now both of our girls are in the Religious School and Jordan will be starting her bat mitzvah lessons soon. My how time flies!

My involvement started with the Men's Club presidency, which also included a seat on both the TBS Board of Directors and Executive Committee. This gave me a great introduction and a much better understanding of all the hard work that happens day after day with our clergy, professional staff, and lay leadership. I also saw that TBS members, clergy and staff make education at all ages and stages a top priority. I am grateful to TBS for giving our children the highest quality Jewish education and for enabling Heather and I to learn as well.

However, TBS has meant so much more to my family beyond education. We have found a caring community of wonderful people. Our dedicated clergy, staff, and volunteers create a special place to celebrate in moments of triumph and a place to find comfort in times of hardship. Aufrufs, baby namings, preschool graduations, Dalet promotions, bar and bat mitzvahs, confirmations, volunteer recognitions, birthdays and anniversaries -- TBS knows how to celebrate the good times! What makes these happy occasions so special is the community of people to share them with and the meaning that has been infused in them by our clergy and staff.

We all know that it's easy to celebrate the good times. The true test of a caring community is support during the not so good times. Our TBS family is there for each other when life gets difficult. Our clergy, daily minyan and Hesed committee provide comfort and assistance during challenging times. It is so important to have a caring community behind you to prop you up when life throws challenges your way.

There are so many ways to get involved at TBS. Do yourself a favor by volunteering -- You can work with great people, learn leadership skills, make new friends and be inspired. You can craft policy on TBS school boards, ritual or budget committees. You can plan exciting TBS events or volunteer with the Home & School Association, Social Action or Hesed. There are so many social groups to join: Sisterhood, Men's Club, Young Members Group, Hazak. Even if you attend a couple Torah study sessions or book club meetings, play on the TBS softball team or go to our visiting scholar programs, you will feel more connected to TBS and want to come back for more. If you have an idea for a new program or group that we don't have, let us know -- we can start one! By getting involved in our synagogue, TBS will become a family to you, and your involvement, in turn, will strengthen our family of families. I have found when you give of your time at TBS, you get so much more in return. If you give it a try, I promise you will be glad you did.

Warm regards,
Mark Kramer