Scot Ackerman M.D.
On behalf of the Board of Directors and everyone at Etz Chaim Synagogue, I wish you a happy, healthy New Year. The High Holidays are a time for both celebration and introspection, a combination I find especially significant as I reflect on some of our milestones and blessings. This year the Mirkis family generously rededicated the Mirkis Chapel in memory of Leo Mirkis. His father Max was a founding member of Etz Chaim, and in 1948, our shul’s first president. The renovation and rededication of the Chapel is an example of our commitment to all of our members to always value our mesora/heritage and at the same time, together with Rabbis and lay leadership, plan a robust, bright future, connecting with a new generation of Jews.
The Mirkis family, as many families in our congregation, remembers our previous synagogue building on University Boulevard – another significant symbol of our past. While we have kept that in our family for years, we recently closed a significant chapter in our history with its sale. Our congregation has agreed to use the funds to open an endowment fund, providing the foundation for our Etz Chaim kehillah to continue for many generations to come.
Because of the dedication and contribution of our Rabbis, members, volunteers, lay leaders and professional staff we have a thriving kehillah today. Our annual Gala would not have been possible without all of the volunteers who joined co-chairs Alex and Sylvia preparing for an evening of fun and excitement. This was one of our most successful fundraisers. Inspirational programming has included meaningful shabbatons, social and educational events for both adults and children, and we have come together for uplifting, spiritual celebrations on Shabbos and holidays.
Our excellent and innovative programming is sure to continue this New Year as we welcome our newest staff member to our community. Rabbi Avi Feigenbaum is joining us from Kansas City as our new education director. Rabbi Feigenbaum will be focusing on education outside the synagogue, including home study and bringing lunch and learns to area businesses. I wish him and his family a hearty B’ruchim Habaim!
It is a privilege to continue serving as your congregational president. I am proud to be part of such a warm, welcoming and inclusive community, one that honors and cherishes our past and continues to embrace the future.
L’Shanah Tovah Tikatevu,
Scot Ackerman, M.D. President