From TBT President Jeanne Freeman

It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as president of Temple Beth Tikvah for the past two years.

We have spiritually fulfilling Services, stimulating Adult Education, morally satisfying Social Action participation and a variety of interesting programs. Our holidays and celebrations are fun and exciting and inclusive of every group. But many synagogues can claim that. What we have that sets us apart is a community that is truly connected. More than one of our members has commented on getting through a difficult time, sharing a celebration, or having dinner with their dear friends from TBT.

I find that to be true for Burt and me. I play mahjong, discuss books, and go on hikes with my TBT friends. We frequently share the dinner table and we travel with our TBT friends. Whether there is a mitzvah to celebrate or an occasion that brings sadness, my first phone call goes to a TBT member - my family, my friends.

It's not that we don't know or socialize with other people. We do. But there is a connection and caring with our TBT family that is stronger than that with anyone else. Perhaps we are connected by our commitment for Tikkun olam - to heal the world - and gemilut chassidim - acts of loving kindness. Maybe it is that we work together so well for the greater good of our community. Perhaps we are tied together by our commitment to understanding and practicing Judaism.

Interestingly, my identity as a Jew and with Judaism has changed significantly since joining TBT in 2009. I was raised in a family of cultural Jews who did not attend services even at the High Holy Days. My early experience with a synagogue as a young mother was disheartening and kept me from attending or joining a temple for nearly 40 years. And now I look forward to the peacefulness that comes with welcoming Shabbat with Rabbi Johanna and all of you.

It's exciting to see that the relationships that we senior members share are being replicated amongst the parents of teens and again in the tot Shabbat group. As these connections grow, these members will step up and keep the traditions and the connectedness of our Jewish community together as we older members step aside.

I am proud and thankful for what we have accomplished during the past two years, and I am grateful for the help and support that I have received. My gratitude to Rabbi Johanna for her guidance and her friendship. Thank you to the Board of Directors - Sheila Luber, Lester Dober, Mary Jane Eisenberg, Chuck Shattuck, Kerrie Zurovsky, and Marilynn Jacobs - they are an exceptional team committed to giving their best for TBT. Thank you to the many committee chairs and members who volunteered and created meaningful experiences for all of us. Thanks to each and every one of you who stepped up in anyway and got involved in TBT. Your participation and involvement in our Jewish community made my job easier.

Finally, I am thankful that two strong, intelligent, generous, and caring individuals have agreed to accept the role as co-presidents of TBT. Ann Rosenfield who is nominated to the board, and who we will vote into office at our Annual Meeting, and Sheila Luber, current Vice President of the board have agreed to serve as co-presidents. I know that the good works that we have begun during the last two years for both TBT and the greater community will be continued by Ann and Sheila and that we can look forward to new and creative plans ahead.