Shabbat Shalom and Gut Yom tov.
This intent of this speech is of course to raise additional support for the temple from all of you. This is my fourth time delivering this speech and from the remarks made it seems that people enjoyed my speeches. And last year we did have 60% respond to the donation card which seems pretty good. But I am a perfectionist and 100% is the goal. More important, if you look at the bottom line, Dave Spokane did much better when he delivered the speech two years ago. I really need to beat Dave. On the other hand, if I don't do well maybe the board will choose Dave again next year. That fact alone should get a big donation out of Dave.
Anyway, in order to do better I decided to ask around and see what people thought I should say. "What do you say to raise support?", was my question. Sheryl Liberman, our past president said, "you ask for money by not asking for money." Well, my first speech was about losing my mother, my second was about a seemingly near death experience on a commercial jet over Russia, and last year I talked about boating with my Dad. How far removed can I get? So I'm aiming for a more direct approach this year.
I asked my Dad and he was completely silent and looked away. I think he thought, like so many times in the past, I was asking him for money.
I asked my brother and he said just ask for money. OK. I'll give that a try. Please give more money. But I'll keep going.
I asked Joel Silberberg and he said, "tell them about all the new things we are trying to do. We are trying to do lots of new things and it would sure help to have more support to make them happen." But I'll keep going.
I asked my daughter Katie and she said, "Hire the mob. Break some legs." We may just talk about that one at the next financial committee meeting.
But for now I'll keep going -- Because the best response came from my wife. And I'm not trying to get brownie points here (OK Maybe just a little bit).
Most of you know I travel a lot. My wife said I should compare the temple to home when I am constantly traveling. You know, out of sight out of mind. But when I am away there is still a house to run, laundry to do, kids to feed, garbage to take out, bills to get paid, decks to scrape, broken water heaters to fix, etc. etc. etc. My wife stays home and yes she does it all. And in all of my travels, whenever I have finally gotten back home, it is always a wonderful feeling to return to a house in order. Still, there is no question I have to make sure the proper amount of support is there. Financial is one side of this of course. But also in lending a hand when I can (or dare I say when I am told).
Many of you only use Betenu once or twice a year: say, only on the High Holidays. Some maybe several times a year say maybe a Friday night service each month. Many have students in the religious school. A large number of you come to the Passover Seder. And then there are those life cycle events people use Betenu for Bnai Mitzvah, weddings, namings, and, sadly, at the loss of a loved one (or hatch, match, and dispatch as the Rabbi said last night).
In effect, we all travel away from Betenu at times. But when we come back, for what ever reason, it must be comforting to have the place in good shape. A clean and well kept facility, a staff of dedicated professionals to teach your children, good programming, and of course a Rabbi that is there to support and guide you.
But it doesn't all happen easily and we are well short of the support we really need. I haven't done this in the past, but I would like the executive board members to stand. And now lets add the general board members. These folks spend a tremendous amount of time keeping Betenu in shape. I cant tell you how many e-mails per month but several per day.
And how can all of you help? One way, and its certainly the easiest, is to be generous when (not if) you fill out the high-holiday donation cards you been given. 100% response is indeed the goal so please don't put the envelope aside and deal with it later. Don't! The second way is to bring us new members. If you like what you see and hear, spread the word. And the final way is to join us in donating you time. We have two trustee positions open and plenty of things to do for those that are willing and able.
In closing, myself and my family wish you all a Happy New Year. Please give generously to know that Betenu will be here and in good working order when you do come back next.
La Shanna Tova,
Peter Stein, VP-Finance
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