End of the Year Report

Now that 2018 is over, I want to share the principle points the board covered in its summary of past year, and when preparing plans for 2019:

  • The great challenge we faced this year was integrating Rabbi Tzvi Graetz into our activities. Of particular note are the classes that he gave on Halakhic Challenges in the 21st  Century, and the additional activities for young families. Kanfei Ruach (the committee that organizes musical services, led by Rabbi Judith Edelman-Green) was established more formally. External funding also enabled us to improve the level of the outside lecturers that we host. These were fundamental changes, and it seems to me that we have all felt them.
  • Many new and renewed activities occurred, and we look forward to continued developments next year, too. For this purpose, the board has just approved a defined budget that includes the employment of a rabbi, implementing the family programs planned by Rabbi Tzvika and Haim Rubenstein, continued programming by Kanfei Ruach, and a respectable budget for hosting quality lecturers in the adult education program chaired by Ellen Schur.
  • Another challenge, one that we are yet to meet, is contact with and welcoming B’nai Mitzvah and their families. We hired Mauricio Acsebrud as administrative coordinator, and we hope that we will be able to upgrade and leverage this important issue significantly.

We had two significant events in recent months, which were also covered in the board’s annual review:

  • The 40th anniversary celebration, including the journal, was organized by a substantial group of members led by Leslie Ratner and Dena Matmon. We raised more than NIS 100,000 (net, after expenses). Moreover, we enjoyed a pleasant, social evening of nostalgia and honored four members: Noma Floom and David Marcus, Stephanie Raker and Josh Siegel.
  • Prior to that, we organized a panel discussion featuring most of the candidates for mayor of Kfar Saba, an event that has become tradition repeated before every municipal election. The event was very successful, and introduced our congregation to a large audience from the broader community, in addition exposing us to the elected officials.

We now face the far-from-simple challenge of finding a new office manager. We have organized volunteers to cover certain functions until someone can be hired, but it is clear that some things will fall between the cracks. However, I have no doubt that after we get through this stage, we can expect a year of fascinating activity and growth!

Nachum Kaminka
On behalf of the board