We hope and pray you find this message a source of pride and comfort. As we reflect on 2020, we can all agree, it was an interesting and challenging year to remember. Even during the pandemic, The Temple team rose to the challenge and creatively found new and safe ways to create positive, meaningful experiences, for all members of our Temple family.
Here are just a few of The Temple’s achievements:
- We transitioned from in-person services and classes to Zoom and YouTube within one week. In addition to weekly services and classes, we engaged with our members every month with relevant programming, member bags, meal pick-ups, and more. We added many programs and invited more outside speakers, comedians, and local leaders than ever before.
- We reimagined our High Holy Day Experience with Member Bags, customized prayer books, a special message from our Governor, and programming for all ages.
- We worked collaboratively with the other synagogues in town to host a joint Havdallah Hanukkah Celebration, the first of many joint programs to come.
- We continued life-cycle events and Tikkun Olam projects, following all CDC guidelines. We created a new Mitzvah Makers group and doubled the number of Tikkun Olam projects we normally do.
- With the help of dozens of dedicated volunteers, we helped members in need with groceries, learn to use Zoom and YouTube, shop online, and get necessary medications and other essentials. We made sure that no member was left behind.
- We wrestled with difficult questions about race and social justice in our community. Our Adult Education Committee began a monthly Conversation Series to continue the dialogue with partners, experts, and activists in our community.
- We continued to open our doors and expand our community as 24 new families joined our Temple, and we welcomed back five additional families who rejoined.
- In order to provide much-needed childcare for our ECEC families, we reopened our preschool during the pandemic while providing a safe educational environment. Our excellence was not missed by the larger community as The Temple Trager ECEC was named Best Preschool in Louisville by The Voice Magazine.
- Our Religious School went online to continue engaging Temple youth with religious education. Moreover, we are proud that we were one of the few Reform Jewish Religious Schools in North America that not only stayed open virtually but also prolonged the school year to continue enriching our students. From Hebrew classes to baking workshops to Torah lessons, our students continued their education safely at home.
- Throughout this pandemic, we worked diligently with our Board of Trustees to ensure that our budget and investments are financially strong.
- We installed a new technology platform to improve back-office efficiencies and provide flexibility for our future.
- We increased marketing and communications with our members, to maintain continuity for The Temple’s presence, throughout the pandemic.
- Our maintenance team remodeled several areas of our Temple, thanks to many generous Temple donors. When we welcome our members back, you will be greeted by many enhancements.
Most importantly, we stayed safe and healthy and we will continue to maintain safety standards until we open our doors later in 2021.
Thank you to all of our Temple team members and volunteer leaders for a job well done in 2020 – and thank you to each and every Temple member for your continued support and commitment to our mission to be a center for Reform Judaism in Louisville and beyond.
We wish all our families a happy, safe, healthy 2021!
Rabbi David Ariel-Joel
Rabbi Joe Rooks Rapport