President’s letter, May, 2013
Tzedakah means different things to each of us. Is it a mitzvah - our honor to be able to give, an obligation that we commit to with our sense of duty and responsibility, or is it something akin to charity that is truly voluntary? Whatever it means to you, I believe that it allows for us to think of others before ourselves, to move away from the “me” and share with the “you”. All of us should be grateful for the blessings bestowed upon us and our families, even when times are bleak and harsh. We should share what we have with others.
We share our time and our financial resources. We can share unused items that we have in our homes with others who can make better use of them. Do you have time to share with Ahavas Israel and this community by helping outside with our lawn and garden care? Will you help research and catalog archival materials with the Gen and Jack Finkelstein Archival committee? What untapped abilities exist among our congregants that you can share and thus improve the lives of those around you? Let me, Rabbi or the office know of your interests.
Some of you may have noticed a leak in our sanctuary ceiling. During the rainy days of April, the leaks that we thought were completely repaired three years ago returned. We shall investigate what occurred and work to repair the leaks. That is why we have a Building Fund.
Last month, 18 of us travelled to Benton Harbor to hear a speaker at USCJ Temple Bnai Shalom share the story of the survival of members of Sue Douglas’ family in the Ukraine during WW II. Temple Bnai Shalom is a congregation formed out of four former synagogues in Benton Harbor. They are renovating their sanctuary and library to prepare for their future. To support their efforts, I am collecting (unbeknownst to them) Tzedakah that I will send to them as one congregation to another. If you wish to contribute, send a check payable to Temple Bnai Shalom to our office. We will collect the donations and send them to their President, David Ravitch, who is the son of our own Sue Douglas.
Next month on June 17, we will hold our annual meeting. I look forward to seeing many of you there. As always, please call me with any of your suggestions and ideas about your synagogue at 616-340-8782 or email me at