President’s Message April May 2014

jerryA Few Good Mensches

I have been thinking about mensches.  My mother was a mensch, and still is at age 92.  Widowed when she was 41, mom was left to raise three children; a 7-year-old boy and two girls, 10 and 19, on her own.  My oldest sister was in her second year of college, and mom insisted Jacque continue her education. You see, both my mother and father dropped out of college during their first years following the deaths of their respective fathers, both at age 42 (coincidentally, the same age that my dad died). They went to work in order to help support their families, and my mother knew that if Jacque was allowed to follow this example, chances were she would never complete her education.
Jacque set the pattern that I followed, which led the way for two generations of college graduates. My mother not only took care of us, but always tried to be there for others in need. Whether it was an elderly family friend who could use help with a shopping trip and company, a friend suddenly unemployed who could use some support, or the teachers at my elementary school who looked forward to the annual Potato Pancake Lunch mom made for them, she always sought to lend a hand. As little as we had in those days, mom believed that others needed a helping hand she could provide.

We at Temple Beth El are endowed with a plethora of mensches, and I would like to take this opportunity to mention a few menschen:

Jory Yarmoff – Jory has been guiding our Sanctuary Renovation Project for the past three years, and we are finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Construction is proceeding and the Board has authorized the purchase of 200 chairs. The congregation has been offered the opportunity of sponsoring some of these chairs, which will free up our limited resources to bring about additional needed improvements to the sanctuary. Jory has spent hundreds of hours on this project, and I appreciate his efforts on behalf of the entire congregation.

Christine Leapman and the TBE Sisterhood – Under Christine’s leadership as the Sisterhood President, this important auxiliary organization continues to support a variety of programs of importance to our congregation. They recently made a very generous contribution to the Sanctuary Renovation Project that will allow us to move forward and get us back in the Sanctuary sooner than would have otherwise been possible. My deep appreciation goes out to Christine and the entire Sisterhood. Keep up the good work, ladies!

Jordan Lund – Have you visited the TBE website lately? I know, this is a foolish question, since you are probably reading this from that very website. Much of the design, structure and format is the result of Jordan’s efforts. He is knowledgeable, talented, and generous with his time and energy. He is also a great cook! A mensch if there ever were one, thank you, Jordan, for all that you do to make TBE function in the digital age.

These are but a few of the menschen worth mentioning. I hope to highlight different individuals who help make TBE a central part of our lives. I know that I will not be able to write about all who add to the whole of who we are, but know this – I appreciate all that you do and am proud to be part of this institution.

Until next time, Shalom.
Jerry Sturmer