|A word from our President
The upcoming AGM signifies the end of the year at CBTO and the beginning of a new one filled with excitement that things will be better for our shul. It also marks the end of my three years as your president. Three years that saw many good things happen at our shul and three years that saw my personal life change dramatically. Throughout my term, I reaffirmed my belief in how much our shul can accomplish when we work together and how thinking as individuals does not benefit anyone.
When I began, I really thought I could make our shul like it was thirty years ago. But I realized that back then we saw our shul as more of a social club for young families like my own. We were less observant, but the shul gave us a place to meet, to socialize, and of course to pray. In thirty years we changed. We became a real shul with a focus on more religion based programming, more education, and a more diverse membership. The social events were no longer as important as we had grown into adults, as did our children.
In the last three years, we improved our programming, our Shabbat kiddushes, our religious services, and our building. We held several large events, none more special than the Torah dedication in honour of Rabbi Simes. This event brought people from around the city to our shul to celebrate, and highlighted our congregation, our clergy, and our membership. We proved that, once again, when we work together our shul can be the best there is.
Over the past three years, I have learned what a great group of people we have as members. From very observant, to the High Holiday observers, to the once a year member. The key is to realize we are all in this together and we need to consider them all when we make decisions. Many times people would ask me if they could do something in our shul that served their purpose. However, as President, I needed to consider the impact on all members. We must remember that every decision we make is for our congregation as a whole, and not for a small group.
We have an opportunity to make this the best shul in Ottawa. Let’s not compare ourselves to others, but focus on who we are and what we have here. We are fortunate that a new generation of leadership will be taking over next week. Let’s give them our full support in helping our shul move forward into the future. I know you will see new ideas and a new way of doing things, and I ask that you embrace it to ensure we are successful.
Finally, I want to thank you all for your support over the last three years. It was truly an honour to serve as President, and a privilege to work with you and to be able to be part of this wonderful congregation.