AGM July 2022 President's Message
Looking Back and Looking Forward

As we approach the end of yet another year where Covid has dominated our lives, we need to take time out and reflect on the past 12 months. 2021 had some wonderful positive things happen to many, only to be offset by unfortunate circumstance for others.  
The last few weeks have been particularly interesting.

Talking to various shul presidents, both Orthodox and Reform, on different occasions, there is a common concern regarding outcomes from the pandemic that affect our shuls dramatically.
Last week, Rabbi Lewin tabled to the board an article written by Jonathan Stern in the Jewish Journal regarding his Los Angeles shul which states:
“The pandemic has resulted in fantastic advances in the mainstreaming of remote learning and religious services, while providing synagogues with a foundation to inspire individuals globally utilizing video conferencing services.  
At the same time, synagogues are suffering a decline in attendance for in-person activities and religious worship. 
It is understandable that some may be reluctant to attend in-person services for a variety of reasons including:

  1. fear of attending large gatherings; 

  2. enjoyment in taking a break from communal obligations; 

        and many other personal issues 

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“Some members believe that synagogue membership is purely transactional. 
There appears to be a growing sense that if one personally elects to not attend services, then synagogues do not merit the financial support of that member.
This withdrawal of congregational support means that our community has failed to express one of the foundational reasons for a synagogue’s existence: to support the spiritual, moral, intellectual, social, and religious needs of a community. 
This has created a sense that “someone else” will always be there to financially support our synagogues and that responsibility for our fellow congregants and the community is conditioned on whether one elects to attend in-person services.”  

North Shore Synagogue Chanukah Celebration - Rabbi Paul Lewin lights the chanukiah 5-12-21

Our Past President Trevor Collins makes the comment 
“Belonging [to a shul] is one thing yet participating in services is equally important.  Financially committing is one thing, attending Shul activities as being equally important.“

I would like to add “activities are for all of us and the more we get involved in them, the more we will get out of them. Just look at the success of the Chanukah Welcome Back celebration. This was followed by a highly successful Women’s event featuring Ronni Kahn AO from OzHarvest which also drew large crowds.

 

A full house almost always ensures a great function and a special thanks to all those who made the function so enjoyable for all.

The message is simply:

Please support your shul today by attending both religious services as well as the social functions that the board puts on. 

 

If there is an area of interest that we can develop with you, please come forward and share your ideas. 

The present and future of our Jewish community depend on it. 

 

Once again, the North Shore welcomes in its midst, a leader in the community. The results are just being published but it appears that our Board member, Robert (Rob) Samuel will be sworn in at the end of January, as a Councillor for the seat of Willoughby.

We wish both Rob and Ellie Mazal Tov and yasher koach (may they go from strength to strength).

We also take this opportunity of wishing Andrew, Gillian and the entire Samuel family Mazal Tov.  

Ken Wolfsohn

Karen Tabak, _ Ruth Koenig, _  and Lori Frank.jpg