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President's Column by President Andy Cheng

Beth Am’s Past, Present and Future

Two years ago, during our congregation’s annual meeting, I shared the following quote:

A Jew lives in three time frames.
She or he lives in the past, remembers where they came from and their rich history.
She or he lives in the present, takes responsibility for existence in the here and now.
She or he lives in the future and fulfills their life with hope.

As I reflect on Beth Am’s journey during this period of time, I’m reminded of how our own community continues to balance all three of these time frames.

When I think about Beth Am’s past, I’m reminded of the incredible legacy of clergy, staff and lay volunteers partnering together over the past 66 years to support our sacred work, both with their time and financial contributions. And whether it’s our young families delivering candles or baked goods to our elder members, intergenerational gatherings in The Foyer or our clergy offering courses to young adults through The Orchard, I’ve witnessed our congregation building bridges across multiple generations.

When I think about the present — where we are today — I see a resilient, flexible and vibrant congregation. This past year, Beth Am faced one of its biggest challenges with the pandemic. Our community adapted to this new reality by pivoting and innovating in a significant way. If that weren’t enough, we managed to engage Rabbi Jeremy Morrison as our Senior Rabbi to co-write our congregation’s next chapter. And we formed strategic priorities to build our youth education programs, to combat systemic racism and began to envision new ways to engage our congregants.

And what does the future hold for our congregation? During the Senior Rabbi transition process, Beth Am congregants shared with us their hope for Beth Am’s future. I’m confident that we’ll have the courage to take the right steps and build the congregation of the future. Our Jewish traditions and values have never been stronger. And I couldn’t be more excited about the direction Beth Am is headed toward.

It has been an immense privilege to serve as Beth Am’s president and to have had the opportunity to work with an exceptional board of directors, professional staff and clergy team. It’s also with great pleasure that I pass the torch to President-Elect Jay Hirsh during our 66th Annual Congregational Meeting. I hope you’ll be able to join the Beth Am community over Zoom on Sunday, April 18 at 4:00 PM.


Tue, April 20 2021 8 Iyar 5781