Executively Speaking: An Auspicious Start
by Michael Saxe-Taller, Executive Director
It is the beginning of November and it is hard to believe that we are only a third of the way through our new fiscal year. We have had an incredibly full start and I want to recap some of the key events and happenings.
Rabbinic Transition – We have begun a significant rabbinic transition involving both Rabbi David and Rabbi Dev. In the summer of 2017, Rabbi David will step down from Kehilla’s senior rabbinic role and Rabbi Dev will fully take on that role. Between now and then, there will be a gradual reduction in Rabbi David’s responsibilities with a corresponding increase in Rabbi Dev’s responsibilities. This transition will naturally affect not only our rabbis, but the staff, spiritual leaders and the whole congregation. Because change always offers opportunities for growth, we will be inviting everyone into conversation about these changes and welcome your participation (see Transition Conversation Schedule).
High Holy Days – We had deeply meaningful and highly successful High Holy Days. Our services were filled with more people than ever, including on Kol Nidre evening, more than 1000 people at Scottish Rite and 250 adults and children praying, singing and dancing at Family Services at Kehilla.
Membership –We already have more wonderful people join and rejoin Kehilla this fall then we did all of last year. We had two lovely Shabbat events to acknowledge and welcome our newest members. If you know of anyone who might be interested in exploring membership, please pass their info on to me.
Kehilla’s History Wall – Our beautiful new History Wall has been installed in the Social Hall thanks to the work of Susan Freundlich, Dvora Gordon, Norma Mark, and Bracha Stone. The Wall includes photographs that depict Kehilla’s history beginning with its inception in 1983.
Religious School – Kehilla School has gotten off to a rousing start. We have 59 students eagerly learning with our top notch teaching staff, including new teachers Wren Ganin-Pinto and Jesse Rothman.
Bar/Bat Mitzvahs – We have already had five of what will eventually be nineteen wonderful Bar and Bat Mitzvahs this year.
Adult Education – Thanks to the efforts of Sharon Grodin and our crack Adult Education Committee, classes are well underway with a marvelously interesting and diverse array of offerings. Check them out and give one a try.
Add to this list Oakland Pride, Neighborhood Brunches, Refinery Healing Walks, Chai Shabbat, a Simchat Torah celebration, Glitter events, Art Openings and more, and we have had quite a beginning to the new year.
May the next two thirds of the year be as impactful!