President’s Message

Sept 2015 The Arc – (Berland)


I say this every year. It’s a cliché, but it’s true – summer always seems to end too soon. Back to work, back to school, back to the routines of every-day life. But then, of course, the New Year is upon us, bringing the joyousness of Rosh Hashanah and the solemnity of Yom Kippur. And so it’s not so routine at all.

The past year was a truly extraordinary one for Temple Beth Torah. It was a year of continuity and growth, of familiarity and innovation, of keeping old traditions and making new ones. We installed and celebrated Rabbi Susie Heneson Moskowitz, for 18 years our spiritual treasure, as our new Senior Rabbi. An innovative speakers program, ADEPT, was created and became an instant success –thank you George, Stan, Henry and the entire committee. We held our first multi-temple Golf Outing –thank you Andy, Rich and everyone else on the committee –and our crack office staff. The Erev Purim Casino Night was phenomenal –thank you Rich, Gerry, all of the members of the Fundraising Committee and everyone else who helped out. We set out to raise enough money to buy an ambucycle for United Hatzalah and quickly exceeded all expectations –thank you Marilyn, Ken, everyone who participated and everyone who contributed. We expanded and re-energized our social action and community outreach programs –thank you Ken, Jim, Janice, Mary, Randi and everyone else who was, and is, involved in these efforts. Under Cantor Appelbaum’s leadership, and abetted by our Music Director , Joe Graffeo, the Choir, Youth Band and Adult Band made service after service uniquely beautiful and inspiring. Rabbi Wiesenberg continued to transform our religious school and youth programs into models for all of Long Island. Rabbi Gellman, in his new role as our Rabbi Emeritus, conducted a uniquely thought-provoking and learned series of talks and lectures, as only he can. And we welcomed a new, family-run caterer, Gala Events, and they immediately transformed the ballroom into one of most eye-catching in the metropolitan area.

The list of the many others who pitched in and made all of these things possible and successful is long, and grateful thanks are due to each of them as well. And I could go on and on.

Best of all, we are poised to take all of this to the next level in the year ahead, 5776. The year is already off to a great start –our Second Annual Mutli-Temple Golf Outing , held in late July at the Hamlet Country Club in Commack, succeeded beyond all expectations, completely sold out both for golf and for dinner –thank you Andy, Rich and the entire golf outing committee. The new Director of our David Joshua Berg Nursery School, Jennifer Fusco, has been onboard for barely a month and already great things are happening and the school is growing. As I write, contributions are pouring in for our annual Half Hollow Hills Backpack Drive and for Help Suffolk Day, two of our long-standing community undertakings –thank you to Mary, Randi and Renee and to your many helpers. There’s so much more to come –speakers, celebrations, festivals, opportunities for Tzedakah and Tikun Olam, inspiration, socializing and learning. Watch your email for invitations and announcements. Check out our website. Read the fliers your kids bring home from Religious School, Youth Group and JTV.

Please be part of it all. None of this would be possible without your generosity and all of it is much more valuable and rewarding with your participation. The work of building and maintaining a community is never done, and doing things as a community is especially fulfilling and satisfying. Please be there with us.

Best wishes to you and yours for a healthy, peace-filled and sweet New Year. I look forward to seeing you.

Shalom, Sandy