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Message from the President: Beshallach

Dear Friends, 

I've been thinking a lot about Amalek recently (we just finished the tractate of Megillah in Daf Yomi). 

Between Purim and Pesach we read Parshat Zachor that teaches us to remember what Amalek (and by tradition, Haman) did to us, to never forget them, and to erase them from the face of the earth. Amalek also features in this week's Parsha of Beshallach. 

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks z"l wonders why, after spending three Parshiot learning about how bad the Egyptians are, it is not Egypt that will be erased from the earth, but rather Amalek ... a desert nation that the Israelites had little to do with. Why? 

Rabbi Sacks explains that Egypt had a valid reason to fear the Israelites; we were outnumbering them. Amalek simply attacked us because they saw us as weak. It was an attack out of cruelty, out of a simple desire to win. There are times when battles need to be fought––to correct wrongs, to achieve greater good. We need to be vigilant that the battles we choose are true and warranted, and not just a path to dominate for the sake of domination. 

Rabbi Sacks also notes that the 40-year wandering path the Israelites took through the desert allowed them to arrive at the banks of the Jordan as a better people, more committed to G-d and Torah and more willing to go forth to embrace their destiny.  Similarly, we should avoid shortcuts. Things that are worth doing are worth doing well, regardless of how hard they are. The result is what counts.

• • •

On that note, we have a Board meeting scheduled for Monday, Jan. 17 (the agenda is attached below). I hope to begin the process of addressing some of the issues that have arisen in our Shul over the past few years. My wish is to ensure that all viewpoints are represented. This will not necessarily be easy or quick, but things have to be discussed and debated to see how they should be changed. I'd like to get committees set up to provide feedback well before the March board meeting. It’s equally important is to improve systems that are working well. Please contact me to recommend other issues for the agenda, either at this meeting or the next one, in March. My email and phone number are below.

• • • 

This week is Tu B'Shvat and we have two great programs scheduled. 

Sisterhood is hosting a zoom presentation (for both men and women) at 7:30 PM on Sunday with Michal Osman, Tik Tok Europe’s head of company culture, about navigating the world of anxieties; info here.

And CTeens is having a teen paint party at 11AM on Sunday for 7th graders and up (rsvp here).

• • •

As always, please reach out to me with any issues. All constructive ideas as well as criticisms are welcome. You can email me at  president.bnaiavraham@gmail.com  (or text or whatsapp me at 917-620-8762) and I will get back to you as soon as I can.

Wishing you all a meaningful and peaceful Shabbos
WITH A BEAUTIFUL NEW MECHITZAH COURTESY OF OUR SISTERHOOD!!

Steven Inker 

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CBA BOARD MEETING AGENDA FOR MONDAY, JAN. 17

• Tzedakah

• Approval of annual meeting minutes

• Approval of officer appointments meeting minutes

• Rabbi’s report

• Treasurer’s report

• Medical committee update

• New business

• Synagogue Staffing 

• Allocation of funds 

• Programming committee reassessment

• Voting protocol committee 

• Job descriptions

Committees updates should be sent to the President and Vice President within 6 weeks, to be reviewed and sent to the Board prior to the March board meeting, where they can be voted on.

• Other business

• Adjournment

Mon, May 23 2022 22 Iyyar 5782