President’s August 2019 Column

As summer is in full swing, we find ourselves in another year of planning. For your family it might be about the family vacation. For us at Temple Judah the next year’s activities are being planned with the emphasis on the High Holidays. As part of this planning, I attended URJ’s Scheidt Seminar which delivered quality education with respect to the role of the temple president.

There, I learned how so many congregations are so different from one another and each have their own strengths and concerns. My concern upon arriving was that our Cedar Rapids community is small and appears to be continuing to shrink in size, as measured by congregates. The conference allowed us to reflect on different ways to measure success. For instance, instead of concerning ourselves with attendance, it might be more productive to consider impact rather than size. Quality over quantity. Substance over fluff?

A few weeks after the conference I attended the Confirmation of Kate Hinz and Leah Dillon. It was so rewarding to see two mature young ladies so proud of what they have learned and participated in as part of their personal Jewish journey. The joy was felt by each in attendance not just to witness, but to collectively participate in. The relevance of this concept of impact over numbers was best expressed that evening at Temple Judah.

As you head into your summer, plan to also reflect on the impact you can have with your family, towards your community and for yourself.

Robert Becker