President Bruce Ives' April 2018 Column: Mid-Terms
Fortunately, the Beth Am presidency does not come with a mid-term election, especially since I am now halfway through my two-year term. But reaching this mid-point does offer a chance to reflect on lessons learned in the past year and thoughts about the road ahead.
One key takeaway is that we cannot, and should not, take Beth Am for granted. What appears to be, and most certainly is, a vibrant and well-run synagogue is the product of enormous hard work by dedicated clergy, educators, staff and the devoted efforts of many, many lay leaders. Even in a congregation as strong as ours, success is not a given. Budgets are tight and the demands on our team are numerous. Big challenges also lie ahead. Attracting and retaining new congregants and young families requires effort and innovation. Fighting the impacts on our team of the high cost of living in our area is daunting. It highlights the need to build financial and leadership capacity for the long term to address this and other critical challenges.
The good news is that we have incredible talent at Beth Am, and that so many of these people have chosen to devote so much of their talent to Beth Am. Having now worked for one year “behind the scenes,” I appreciate this reality for the blessing that it is. More than ever, I am committed to not take it for granted. None of us should.