July 16, 2017
From the Desk of the President of the Congregation Sandy Lopater
Greetings to all of our members, friends and supporters. I am just back from my trip to Poland and Israel, and I am excited to be back with my Congregation family. There is a lot going on with our Congregation, and I wanted to keep everyone up to date.
First, the new building…the drywall is done and ready for painting. I stopped by the site last Friday before services and met with the property manager, Mike Ross. We will be scheduling a meeting this upcoming week to choose flooring, wall paint color, and counter and cabinets for the kitchenette. We continue to move forward, and I look forward to the date that I can tell the Congregation it is time to move.
Second, I understand that the last meeting of the Men’s Club was a smashing success. We had volunteers from the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. They spoke about safety issues that should be of great concern to our members. If anyone has any further questions about any safety issues, come see me. I spent 27 years as a law enforcement professional, and I can speak about any topic within law enforcement. It was also heartwarming to hear that we had 25 people attend this meeting. This was a wonderful turnout. Our meetings will continue to be informative, as we will be welcoming speakers from a variety of fields to discuss and educate our members in topics of interest. Please join us, as we also intend to support the Congregation in a myriad of ways. Dues will be only $18.00 a year, and will go to good causes. Get involved and be a part of something good.
Third, with the help of the Congregation Board, I am crafting a membership survey for all of our current members to complete. We did this last year, and I felt it was a success. We learned what we are doing that is good and also learned some things that we should not be doing as a Congregation. We truly do read each survey and take your suggestions and comments to heart. Please take the time to read the survey and answer the questions honestly. Each question has a numerical line to indicate your level of satisfaction with the topic, as well as room to write any suggestions, comments or criticisms. If there is not enough room, write out your responses on the back of the survey. If you do write on the back of the survey, please note the item number you are commenting about. This is your Congregation, and you are part of the process. Please do not be the voice that is not heard.
Fourth, the Annual Membership meeting is scheduled for August 27, 2017 at 3pm.
Fifth, my trip to Poland and Israel was the most inspiring trip that I have ever gone on. As those who have visited Israel know, it is something to be experienced personally. It was really life changing for me. First Poland…I visited Warsaw and Krakow. I went to the Warsaw Ghetto, saw the monuments and markers commemorating the struggle that the Jews faced in the Ghetto, as well as what the people of Warsaw faced. I visited the monument at Treblinka, where the Nazi’s tried to hide their crimes by burning everything down. It was a solemn experience to know that so many people’s lives were snuffed out on ground that I was standing on. In Krakow I saw the destruction of the Jewish people and the complete indifference to life that the Nazi’s held. However, I also saw how strong Jewish life is in Krakow, how the Jewish community was able to survive and to grow. I joined in at a Shabbat celebration with 650 people at the Krakow JCC…young and old were there to show the world that Judaism survives. I also had the opportunity to visit and walk through Auschwitz and Birkenau, to walk through the buildings and monuments. I walked into the gas chambers and walked up to the ovens. One cannot truly fathom the horrors of these camps just by reading books or watching movies. Even by being there, I could not fully imagine all that went on there. For those that survived these horrors, you have my undying admiration for have whatever ability it was to be able to survive. For those that did not, you are forever in my thoughts and prayers. Our group did recite the Mourner’s Kaddish over the memorials at both Auschwitz and Birkenau.
I was also able to do some research into my mother’s side of my family. I knew that my grandfather was from Krakow, but we did not have any other information concerning family. I was able to develop information not only about my Great Grandparents, but also about my Great, Great Grandparents. Unfortunately, I also found out through the Yad Vashem Digital Archives that my Great Grandparents and their family perished in the Shoah.
In closing, I would like to thank the membership and the Board for their continued support. It is my pleasure to serve the Congregation. As always, I welcome your comments and critiques. My email is email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.