President's Monthly Message
It’s January as I write this column. I was part of a small group that recently went on a second scouting hike for our spring Temple Shabbat hike. The first scouting hike gave us some good ideas, but we did not hike part of the route we were considering for the next Temple hike. On this hike, we wanted to see if we could decide on a definitive route.
Along our way, we realized that the route we were considering involved a stream crossing. It had been raining for a few days before the hike, so the stream was about as high as we can reasonably expect it to be. It is a small stream, with multiple routes across that do not involve getting wet feet. When we arrived at the stream, our small group chose three different routes across the stream. We even went back and forth across to test different routes in different directions. During the time we were at the crossing discussing the options, several other hikers came by. Each hiker chose a different route to cross the stream, including one who chose to simply get his boots wet by walking straight across in the very shallow water. Ultimately we concluded that this stream crossing, though it may be challenging to some, is not a disqualifying factor in deciding where to hike in April.
As I was thinking about the deliberation at the screen crossing, it reminded me of how our Temple Board is currently wrestling with the development of a strategic plan. We have laid out a series of options, and we have discussed the options. We have only barely begun to discuss the interaction among possible choices of action, but those discussions will be well under way by the time you are reading this. A special Board Meeting is scheduled for late March to make some decisions regarding our strategic plan. Unlike the hikers, Board members can’t each take a different path. Even so, if our strategic plan requires us to cross a stream, it doesn’t mean that each individual must take the same route across the stream. Temple Beth Ami is a community made up of individuals, and each of us has our own ideas and ways to observe Judaism. If we choose a path that requires us to get our feet a little wet, we have to be reasonably certain that there’s a good reason to do so. Alternatively, if we want to keep our feet dry, we have to recognize that we might have to take a large step from one point to another. The important part of this is that we help each other across the stream, and then continue on the trail together.
After the Board makes decisions, there will still be opportunities for you to become involved in the implementation of whatever action plans we approve. I’m looking forward to crossing that stream together, with all of you.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that our next Temple hike is being planned for April 18. Put it on your calendar now. Details will be coming soon.