Chairman's Yom Kippur Address
It’s traditional for the Chairman to address the congregation at this time, by looking back over the past year. However I would like to break from that tradition and focus on the future.
But before I do that, if I didn’t use this opportunity to publicly thank all the wonderful people (and there are a lot of them) who ensure that the Synagogue continues to operate for the benefit of the community, it would raise a few eyebrows! And quite rightly!
So… a very big thank you to our staff – whether paid or voluntary … to our Trustees and Honorary Officers … and everyone else involved with our committees, groups and regular activities. Thank you ALL for the work that you do.
Now I must address what is perhaps THE SINGLE most important issue facing our Synagogue and one that could have a major effect on our future: and this is the potential merger between EDRS with Hendon Reform Synagogue.
In February, your trustees voted unanimously to put this proposal to our membership and in March, we sent an explanatory letter and F.A.Q’s to everyone. In April, we held a Question & Answer evening where members raised their own questions about the proposal, most of which we were prepared for and answered – and some that needed further research.
In May, just prior to the AGM, we asked members to approve a change in our laws to allow for postal voting and this was approved, enabling as many members as possible to participate in making this major decision – whether or not EDRS and Hendon Reform should merge to form a new entity.
The members of Hendon Reform voted on 25 September, just a few weeks ago and I’m delighted to announce that this was passed by an overwhelming majority of two thirds to one in favour of merging. If WE also vote in favour at our SGM on 31 October, the merger will take place by the summer of 2017 and we will have a golden opportunity to move the new combined community forward.
There is no doubt in my mind, and those of my colleagues, that the Reform Jewish community of North West London will find itself with enhanced spiritual, educational, social, welfare and youth facilities in a financially sustainable and secure environment for generations to come.
So in early October, EMET was accompanied with as much information about the proposed merger as we could, and I hope that you will have all had the chance to read this. I urge you ALL to use your vote … and to vote in favour of the proposed merger. This is too good an opportunity to miss. You have until tomorrow to register for a postal vote if you cannot be here on the night. Just contact the Synagogue office.
If you have any questions regarding the proposed merger, I will be delighted to talk to you… I am here all day today! As there may not be sufficient time on the actual evening to answer every question.
This is my last High Holy Day address as your Chairman - as my official term of office ends at the next Annual General Meeting on 22 May 2017, so I want to thank this community for the great honour and privilege of being your Chairman during such a busy time when so much has been achieved to move this Synagogue forward.
I like to thank all my Honorary Officers and Council for making our meetings so interesting; I thank all the staff who have been most enjoyable to work with, enthusiastic and … on the whole ….have a positive attitude and are open to embracing change.
As many of my predecessors will agree, being Chairman means that over the three year period, more time is spent here at EDRS than at home! So, finally, I would also like to say a huge thank you to my wife, Jacqui, for being very supportive & putting up with the endless meetings, phone calls and emails. To you, Jacqui, and to ALL of you, I wish you a very special and exciting year ahead.
` Shana Tova!