President’s Message

May 2, 2021 Annual Meeting President’s Message

At this year’s annual meeting, I presented “A short short-year in review.” What follows is a longer version of that address.

David Cohen and Mike Atlas have kept us updated monthly on financials. We’ve re-addressed the budget and been kept afloat. The Board discussed the loss of income from fundraising and other sources due to COVID-19. We came to realize that it actually costs $1,400 per family to cover just the operating costs. The Board requested that those who can pay more please do. Thanks to a well crafted message by David Cohen, responses to this supplemental ask were generous. We still haven’t collected all the pledges, so please send in your funds if you haven’t already. Our finances were also enhanced by a PPP loan.

With creative adaptation from Kinneret, Sunday school continued. We had in-person Sukkot celebration in our newly built Sukkah thanks to Shawn Polivoi, Gordon Mann, and Jerry Waxman. We also had an in-person Hanukah celebration. The Purim-In-Bag Celebration, led by the Sisterhood, with Youth Group participation was a major hit and fundraiser for our community.

The Rabbi held Zoom classes (Torah study, Kabala, and Enneagram), met with the Rabbi’s kids regularly, and with Rabbi Greenbaum’s help, we distributed prayer books to members to maintain a presence having services, both Friday night and High Holiday (including in-person when possible). We often had special appearances by Rabbi Greenbaum, which was always a treat. High Holidays brought roughly 50 windows, for 60 viewers. And remember, the Rabbi is available for office hours Sunday morning, just let him or Teresa in the office know you’d like to set an appointment. We’ve also started to increase our presence in social media.

Technology worked well and taught us a lot about ways to stay connected for years to come.

With the work of a number of members (extra special thanks to Mike Gaynor, Ed Strongin, Teresa Eckerling, and Gail Atlas) the Directory went out on schedule. Each year the directory seems to look nicer and nicer. I can’t wait until this year.

We’ve maintained or grown our membership (thanks to Jan Brenner, and others).

Sisterhood has had robust programming, including: Cooking class, Book Club, Fundraisers and meaningful community and NCJCC donations. For the May meeting I was guest speaker. I was honored to share and reflect on my recent travelling experience treating COVID-19 patients and give an update on the status of COVID-19 in Nevada County. We will remain Red Tier for a while.

Our backyard development has continued (very special thanks to those of you who are on the backyard committee, but extra special thanks to Mya, Iola, Jerry, and Ralph). I hope you’ve seen the updated pamphlet or you’ve enjoyed the  backyard yourself. We need to raise more funds for the next stage, which includes staining fencing, more irrigation, pathway installation in preparation for the Memorial Garden (with burial and ceremony of to be retired Prayer books).
Eva is donating a new tool shed and another member donated two Ez-ups. In the stage after next, we’ll need chairs and a shed in which to store them, and then finally the Pavilion.

Security enhancements continue, including a new camera and video system (thanks to Sisterhood for providing funds for this project); and thanks to John Lamont and David Cohen for installing it. Our fire alarm system has been tuned up and Teresa, with Mike and Iola’s help, was able to update our Comcast and save us $100/mo.

Iola has represented us at the Interfaith Nevada County Group. They’ve had events, with more collaboration to come. They’ve asked for paper bags, egg cartons, and canned food. You can leave donations in our collection bin at the back of the synagogue.

We’ve welcomed new Board members mid-stream, thank you Shawn Polivoi, and John Lamont. We’ve had Board presence and input from Max Eckerling, and expert meeting scribing by Kaya Russell. And of course Mya Russell, as our new Secretary, has stepped up the quality and timeliness of Board Minutes. We will start publishing the board meeting minutes in the Schmooze. The Schmooze and other announcements have gone out regularly, as has a Newsletter, thanks to Teresa. Our website remains updated.

We had to cancel The Corner Deli at the Fair (which went on-line last year) and Deli Night. This year, the Fair is on at the Fairgrounds, and after many years of Ralph’s leadership, the Torch has been passed to John Lamont. I know Ralph, Jerry and Mike will continue their vital roles and help John. Deli Night should return this year, albeit in a different form like a drive thru. Additional fundraisers will be added. One such fundraiser may be a Golf Tournament (to be headed up by Gordon Mann and Rabbi Azen). Sales at the Judaica Shop continue.

The Bylaws committee, led by David Cohen, was fully functional and drafted what will be known as the most comprehensive, most detailed review and amended Bylaws in our history.

In April, with the Remick’s leadership, the 5th Friday films have resumed; we had our first film and discussion. Movie titled “Never Again Is Now,” a film about anti-Semitism. Ralph pointed out that it’s not just anti-Semitism, but Anti-Judaism.

Mya, Kinneret, and I began spring cleaning and spent quality time in the attic sorting through books and art and Prayer Books to be buried. We’ll need help in the Library.

The Annual Community Picnic is Sunday, May 16, 2021 here from 11:30am-2:30pm. Please join us in the backyard.

We are always looking for ways to connect with all our members in a more meaningful way. The Board welcomes your suggestions.

Garrett Eckerling, President