Serving the Jewish Community of Central New Jersey for Over a Century

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President’s Shalom Article – July, 2021

July 1, 2021

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Beth El Synagogue President

I am very excited to serve as President of Beth El.  This is an amazing community that cares about each other, cares about the Jewish people, and cares about helping others.  We have created a unique and nurturing Jewish space.

For those who don’t know me, my family has been members of Beth El for 8 years. My wife Celeste is the Chair of the Membership committee.  We have two children Reina, 10, and Stuart, 6 who feel right at home at Beth El.  I first volunteered with the Israel Affairs Committee and then joined the board as VP of Ritual and Education.  In my second term, I had the privilege of chairing the search committee that led to the hiring of Rabbi Matt as our Education Director and Prayer Leader.

Why do I and so many others volunteer here?  Because we have a great community and I want to see it continue to flourish.  We are big enough to have something for everyone, but small enough to know everyone.

I am looking forward to an exciting two years as President.  With much thanks to Ben Genek, Doug Harris, and Skip Berman we have begun the process of using the proceeds of our recent refinance to take care of much needed major maintenance items.  Nicole Ostrowsy-Fabisch and Jake Gertsman are leading a team to methodically prioritize and the work that we need to keep our building and grounds in good working order.

With the building on the path to be in good working order for years to come, we also have work very hard to get more people to use it.  I want to continue and expand our efforts to engage people in all demographics.  I want more people to take classes with our rabbis, participate in Social Action projects, or any of the myriad programs we offer.  And I want us to make sure we promote ourselves and get the word out to the broader community that Beth El can be their Jewish home too.  I hope to use future articles to spotlight the great work that happens all throughout the Beth El community.

It is hard to believe that the High Holidays are right around the corner.  If things keep holding like they are, I think services will run much like we are used to.  Coming out of the last year and half, normal mean a lot more than it used to.  Stay tuned for details from the Re-opening Task Force as the holidays get closer.  All services will go out on Live Stream and if you aren’t comfortable coming yet, that’s OK we can still be together virtually.  We are fortunate to have Cantor Raquel Pomeranz Gershon returning for her third year with us and we are planning for our full complement of youth services.

I hope that you all have a wonderful summer.

Brian Albert, President