August 31st, 2014
by Elaine Lee, Membership and Communications Director
You – yes, you! The Temple Micah community needs you here, with your resonant wishes and renewed hopes for peace. Bring yourself, family, friends and acquaintances at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 5 for the Family Shabbat Jam & Potluck Picnic and a few weeks later for High Holy Days. Led by Rabbi Adam Morris and Uri Ayn Rovner, cantorial soloist, with Hal Aqua, David Ross and other jammers, this busy season at the temple ultimately relies on your presence, involvement and support. Read your MICAH e-MAILBOX and tap the links. Still unsure how to proceed? Contact me, Elaine Lee, firstname.lastname@example.org, 388-4239 x1, to steer you to a good year — L’Shana Tova – shoulder to shofar with Temple Micah!
REV UP FOR JEWISH LEARNING… Make time for sessions starting in September: Adult Hebrew, Religious School (chiefly for children) and Mishpacha! (alternative family education). Learn more about these programs from Temple Micah’s website or Bethany Friedlander, email@example.com, 303-388-4239 x4.
METRO DENVER OPPORTUNITIES…
- JEWISH COMMUNITY BOWLING… Be part of the Denver Jewish Bowling League, for men and women organized by B’nai B’rith, to bowl regularly at 6:30 p.m. Thursdays starting Sept. 4 at AFM Monaco Lanes and continuing 26 weeks, except on Jewish holidays, till early April 2015. Register yourself — or a team from Temple Micah! If you’re not with a team, the league will place you on one. Cost is $15 per week per bowler and $25 once for registration. Experience… what’s that, and who needs it? Just go for fun. Get set by e-mailing DenverJewishBowling@gmail.com.
- SELICHOT – Temple Micah (a Reform Jewish congregation) will gather with Rodef Shalom (Conservative) and B’nai Havurah (Reconstructionist) at the latter congregation’s location, 6445 E. Ohio Ave., Denver, at 8:00 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 20, for a Selichot Service in preparation for the Days of Awe. All are welcome.
- TASHLICH – Clean your slate! Temple Micah is cooperating with Jewish Outreach Initiative, JCC South Denver, Hebrew Educational Alliance and Rodef Shalom to present a Denver Jewish Community Tashlich option for casting away sins at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 28 at Tommy Davis Park, 9200 E. Orchard Road, Greenwood Village. (This event is in addition to Temple Micah’s Tashlich ritual directly after the 3:30 p.m. Rabbi’s Open House at Stapleton on Rosh Hashanah, Thursday, Sept. 25.)
- CANDIDATES FORUM – A free Candidates Forum 2014 takes place Tuesday evening, Oct. 7, time to be announced. Presented by Jewish Community Relations Council of JEWISHcolorado and National Council of Jewish Women, this educational event is co-sponsored by organizations and synagogues including Temple Micah. Pre-registration is recommended; RSVP: “Events,” 303-316-6484.
- FROM OY TO JOY… Notify Temple Micah, 303-388-4239 x1, if you’d like to be on the mailing list for a free subscription to From Oy to Joy, a monthly calendar of activities open to all seniors (or any “mature” folks) in the Denver Jewish community. This publication under the auspices of Kavod Senior Life is made possible by Temple Micah and other synagogues and organizations. Also ask about Jewish & Widowed group programming, if you’re interested.
MOTLEY JEWS SPOKESMAN SUMS UP SUMMER… Here’s the first-hand report you’ve been awaiting: “Another season of the DenverJewishSoftballLeague.org has come to a close, and Temple Micah was well represented for the third straight year. We are clearly the most charming and fun-loving bunch out there. Maybe even the best looking. Our record? Not quite as good looking. Big thanks to our seasoned veterans Howard Belon, Hal Bruno, Dan Rimland, Josh Deixler, Steve Waldman, Randy Palmer, Mike Bercowitz, Jeff Roberts and Mark Nassi. Thanks also to our rookies Michael Kaplan, Josh Bogen, Alex Nassi and Jacob Sorokin, all of whom brought needed speed to the organization. Special thanks goes to Mark Koester and Joel Bogen with whom I got to share the thankless task of managing this rag-tag crew of Motley Jews. I’d also like to thank Susan Waldman for improving our on-field appearance this season with some fresh jerseys and even fresher caps. And finally our fans, we couldn’t have done it without you. Maybe our fan base grew due to the Kennedy Ballfields proximity to the Cherry Creek bike path, but it did grow. Thank you, Robin Aubrey, Sarah and Uri Rovner, Melissa and Michael Rose and all the players’ families. If it wasn’t for their support, we’d all probably be doing something more productive on a Sunday morning but not near as fun. Now everyone, stay loose, stay hydrated, and stay tuned. I am Kane Aldinger, see you next spring.”
WELCOME TO NEW MEMBERS…
- Peter Sherman & Linnea Krizsan & family of Denver
MAZEL TOV FROM THE MICAH COMMUNITY…
- John Harrington & Robert Dunn were married in their backyard by Rabbi Mo to the smooth tunes of Hal Aqua before friends and family on Aug. 1, 2014.
GREETINGS TO BABIES & THEIR GREAT ADMIRERS…
- Amy Belle Anderson, born June 8, 2014, daughter of Cassie & Kevin Anderson; granddaughter of Janis & James Anderson
- Laura Fischer, born Jan. 13, 2014, daughter of Angela Howard & Reid Fischer; granddaughter of Suzanne & Peter Fischer
- Rosalie Shapiro, born July 29, 2014, daughter of Amy & Gabe Shapiro; granddaughter of Wendy & Martin Smith
SPECIAL THANKS TO MICAH GOLF TOURNEY SUPPORTERS…
- Sponsors – (Eagle) Sloane’s Carpet Secret, by Alice & Scott Alban; Michael Clapman & Risa Tatarsky; Sam Mamet & Judith Cassel-Mamet; Ray Miller, Mark Nassi, Dan & Grady Rimland; (Birdy) Mark Grueskin & Lola Farber Grueskin; Lynn Klyde-Silverstein, in loving memory of June Klyde-Silverstein; Jeffrey & Karen Roberts; White & Jankowski, LLP, by Sarah Klahn; (Par) Michael & Robin Aubrey; Irv & Elaine Levy; Rabbi Adam & Renee Morris; Patrick & Stefanie Winfield
- In-Kind Donors – Jason Altshuler & Christina Pope, Steve & Kari Epstein, Sam Mamet, Brad & Ruth Segal, John & Jill Young & family, Glendale Rugby Football Club, RWO by Hal & Brenda Bruno, Zaidy’s Deli
- Committee – Jason Altshuler, Hal Bruno, Sam Mamet, Dan Meyers, Jeff Roberts, Jill Young
- All Golfers, Lunch Companions & Volunteers!
MANY THANKS TO THESE DONORS (in past month)…
- Janis & James Anderson – in honor of the birth of their first grandchild, Amy Belle Anderson
- Alison Auster — High Holy Days
- Liz & Larry Feldman – High Holy Days large floral arrangement
- Janet & Mary Jo Gross & Steve Lissner – High Holy Days & Roll of Remembrance
- Irv & Elaine Levy – yahrzeit donation in memory of Sophie Levy, beloved mother
- Risa Tatarsky & Michael Clapman – yahrzeit donation in memory of her father, Martin J. Freedman
- Louis Wolfe – in honor of the bat mitzvah of Rose Kelly
- Louis Wolfe – in honor of the bar mitzvah of Max Fireman Schiavoni
- Gail Mason, Mary Ann Strassner, John & Eve Sackett – for helping with membership mailing
(Temple Micah is very grateful for all support. Please notify the temple office at 303-388-4239 x1 of any inadvertent error in the above listing.)
August 31st, 2014
by Rabbi Adam Morris
I was reviewing what I have written in this space as Elul and the New Year beckon, and I came across this post that I wrote for 5768. With a little tweaking, it felt like something worth saying this year as well. ~ Rabbi Mo
In our modern world that relies so much on technology, many of us have experienced the annoyance of finding that a now essential piece of technology does not work the way we need it to work. So we try the ubiquitous phone call with a customer service technician — to seek the support we need to repair the device in question. After the small talk that initiates the conversation with the tech, no matter where he or she may be in the world, the tech will give one or two of the following directions: “Make sure the _________ (your device) is plugged into the outlet” AND/OR “Turn off the_________ (your device) and then turn it back on.” Duh!
If I needed help with such simple things, would I have been waiting for what seems like hours on hold?! And yet, I am often embarrassed that I did not try these two initial steps of any technologically related repair procedure. I am further embarrassed because either the plug was, indeed, not properly in the outlet or the simple reboot magically healed my suffering system.
Oh, only if the emotional, relational and even the physical malfunctions we face in our lives could so magically function with a simple reboot of our systems?! While this reality does not exist on the superficial level of our lives, the metaphor does speak some truth to us as we consider our spiritual systems. Just as the computer, or smartphone or tablet has default setting upon which the system runs most effectively, so do we. Our sages tell a story of how each infant born into the world has complete awareness of the universe and all within it. As the infant leaves the womb an angel comes and touches each her or him on the skin above the lips and that touch causes the infant to forget it all. We spend our lives trying to re-learn what we have lost. In some sense, this complete awareness is our default setting and somehow wired into our hardware.
Just as the computer or smartphone or tablet gets bogged down in viruses or other programs that get in the way of its most efficient processing, so do we. The demands of living life are real, necessary and important to our survival, and yet sometimes they subtly (or not so subtly) draw us away from those default settings that define and guide us. And then there are those elements that tease and tantalize us, things not so essential, but attractive and that nonetheless alienate us from our basic truths. Our ancestors’ march through the wilderness is a story that tells of how hunger, fear and idols of all sorts stand between us and our default settings.
Just as the computer or smartphone or tablet has those protocols to run to attempt to recapture those default settings, so do we. As human beings, we turn toward the wisdom we find in nature, in knowledge and within our religious traditions. In our tradition it is known as Teshuvah – Repentance. Truly, this word directs us toward more than the English ‘repentance’ suggests. This Jewish protocol originates in the Hebrew root of this word, ‘Return.’ We return to those default settings that define and guide us. And we name those default settings with many terms: ethics, morality, spirituality, Divinity.
Each year our tradition provides us the chance to ‘reboot’ our souls and ‘return’ to our default settings. Beginning in the month of Elul (which began on Aug. 27), the process or running this protocol begins with just a few moments daily of listening for the call of the shofar (which hopefully begins to awaken those dormant or diluted default settings). This month of listening and loosening up our ‘muscles of return’ culminates in the Days of Awe: Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. We set aside these times to engage in the essential work of Teshuvah – returning to the default settings that guide us.
I look forward to completing this vital task with you this New Year… as together we create a sacred setting in which we engage in the work of Teshuvah and embrace the Divinity that oozes through our hearts and souls.
July 30th, 2014
Click here for an overview of August 2014!
July 29th, 2014
by Elaine Lee, Membership and Communications Director
Temple Micah’s 2014 Membership Directory is all about cherishing and unifying the congregation. Sometimes our temple may seem like disparate individuals and parts, or maybe only the part(s) we each partake of or participate in…. Not so! One glance at this “Best of Micah” guide will widen every eye to a fuller view of who we are as a congregation.
Micah members can expect to receive this year’s directory by mail any day now. If you think you ought to get it but don’t, please identify yourself. Or what if you’re not in it, but yearn to belong? Let’s take care of that too! Membership can be ouchless.
For everyone in its folds, the Micah member directory is a ready tool to help us reach one another to interact for many purposes… from making friends to arranging carpools, from sharing resources to furthering temple objectives, from celebrating fetes to lauding feats, from sowing social action to simply socializing. Whether you’re a longtime devotee, at a midpoint in your Micah evolution, new to the Micah universe or sauntering on your unique, sacred journey-continuum, this leaflet can lead you to people with overlapping values and interests.
It’s yours, all yours. So, go ahead, hold the directory dearly, clutch it near your heart, stash this fuddy-duddy pamphlet by your i-phone, atop your tablet or whatever else you feel you most rely on, need or want. For when you open the booklet, suddenly you’ll see all of Temple Micah’s greatest gadgets… its humans!
Next time you feel like building a more cohesive Micah community, enhancing or mending your world or finding potential mensches with whom to “Do Justly. Love Mercy. Walk Humbly.” – Join the walk with your fingers. Try these Micah pages.
MAZEL TOV TO NEWLYWEDS…
• Rebecca Vogel & Matt Wall were married on Saturday, July 12, 2014, by Rabbi Adam Morris at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House. They live in New York, NY, where Matt is a doctorate candidate in chemistry, working on nanotechnology applications for cancer research and treatment at Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and Rebecca, officially now Wall, is the religious school administrative assistant at Temple Shaaray Tefila.
• Linda Roe & Darice Bayer were wed on Monday, July 7, 2014. (A note to the Micah community from Linda, whose last name is now Bayer, follows…)
“On July 7, 2014, Darice and I signed a civil marriage certificate along with Rabbi Mo and our two witnesses, Elaine Lee and Brenda Bruno. It’s easy to say that signing the marriage certificate was a significant event — after all, we had been waiting over four years for such a thing to become possible. But we were surprised by how wonderful it felt to be supported by our community.
“In order for marriage equality to become a possibility in the state of Colorado, untold numbers of people had to agree with marriage equality and to take action to make the idea become a reality. We understood at that moment that communities are the most powerful when they come together in support of people who stand at the periphery. This understanding was surprising because we had never been a part of something like this before.
“I was also surprised by my feelings of pride. I went to high school with Hillary Hall over 30 years ago. Back then, she was a fun-loving girl with a sense of humor. I know she looked forward to her future and I suspect she was confident that she was going to take the world by storm. But I’m not sure that she expected to do it in the way that she did it [issuing documents as Boulder County Clerk and Recorder]. I am so proud of Hillary! Small acts can have big consequences and every single person that has participated in the march toward marriage equality can be proud of themselves. It is an amazing feat and I hope we can see that real societal change is possible when we all act together.
“Darice and I would like to thank you and say that we have been deeply affected by your support.”
• Phyllis Bookatz, July 1, 2014, grandmother of Rabbi Adam Morris; the Micah community extends sympathy to the rabbi and his entire family
THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS (during past month)…
• Michael Clapman & Risa Tatarsky – in memory of Phyllis Bookatz, grandmother of Rabbi Adam Morris
• Sheri Lockhart & family – in memory of Phyllis Bookatz, grandmother of Rabbi Adam Morris
• Megan Marx – for b’nai mitzvah class gift toward the Micah Move-Over
• Dorothy Rosenblatt – Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund, in memory of Phyllis Bookatz & the yahrzeit of Ilene Shiroff
• Marlynn & Joe Silver – in memory of Phyllis Bookatz, grandmother of Rabbi Adam Morris
• Jo Ann Zvares – Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund
• Jo Ann Zvares – in memory of her father, Simon Zvares
THANK YOU FOR 3rd TEMPLE MICAH GOLF TOURNAMENT SPONSORSHIPS…
• Sloane’s Carpet Secret (by Alice & Scott Alban)
• Michael Clapman & Risa Tatarsky
• Sam Mamet & Judith Cassel-Mamet
• Dan & Grady Rimland, Ray Miller, Mark Nassi
• Mark & Lola Farber Grueskin
• White & Jankowski LLP (by Sarah Klahn)
• Lynn Klyde-Silverstein — in loving memory of June Lillian Klyde
• Jeff & Karen Roberts
• Michael & Robin Aubrey
• Irv & Elaine Levy
•Patrick & Stefanie Winfield
• Rabbi Adam & Renee Morris
Thanks also to the Golf Committee, prize donors, volunteers and everyone planning to play golf or have lunch at this tourney on Saturday, Aug. 2 at Emerald Greens Golf Club in support of Temple Micah!
Please notify Elaine Lee, 303-388-4239 x1, of any inadvertent inaccuracy or omission.
• Park Hill Art Club Welcomes Temple Micah… Park Hill Art Club offers daytime classes, three hours each, on Mondays and Thursdays at 5209 Montview Blvd. in fall, winter and spring. For 40 years this club has provided education, fellowship and support to beginners through professionals interested in art. The club also presents two art shows a year. General meetings include art demonstrations, conducting business and eating lunch together on third Thursdays monthly from 12:00 noon-2:00 p.m. Learn more at www.parkhillartclub.org.
• Before the Mourning… This free lunchtime series on Wednesdays, Aug. 13-Sept. 17, 12:00 noon-1:30 p.m. will be held at Parkplace, 111 Emerson St., Denver. Topics and speakers include “Soul and Soil: The Journey of the Earthly Self,” David Sanders, executive director, Kabbalah Experience; “What Are You Dying To Know?” Jamie Sarche; director of prearranged funeral services, Feldman Mortuary; “Navigating Your Next Adventure: Managing Your Income in Retirement” Mary Jo Titcombe, financial advisor, Edward Jones; “There Are No Magic Words,” Laura Harter, care manager; “Estate Planning Made Easy: Accomplishing Your Goals and Avoiding Family Disputes at Your Death,” Sarah Golombek; and “Love Prevails Beyond the Veil: Stories from the Beyond,” Donna Morrish, psychotherapist. RSVP to Jamie Sarche, 720-404-6772 by Monday, Aug. 11.
July 29th, 2014
by Rabbi Adam Morris
As we watch from afar the violence in Israel, I feel more like writing poetry than prose. Since I am not much of a poet, I offer the poetry of Israeli poet, Yehuda Amichai. ~ B’shalom, Rabbi Mo
“I, May I Rest in Peace”
by Yehuda Amichai
(translated by Chana Bloch and Chana Kronfeld)
I, may I rest in peace – I, who am still living, say,
May I have peace in the rest of my life.
I want peace right now while I’m still alive.
I don’t want to wait like that pious man who wished for one leg
of the golden chair of Paradise, I want a four-legged chair
right here, a plain wooden chair. I want the rest of my peace now.
I have lived out my life in wars of every kind: battles without
and within, close combat, face-to-face, the faces always
my own, my lover-face, my enemy-face.
Wars with the old weapons – sticks and stones, blunt axe, words,
dull ripping knife, love and hate,
and wars with newfangled weapons – machine gun, missile,
words, land mines exploding, love and hate.
I don’t want to fulfill my parents’ prophecy that life is war.
I want peace with all my body and all my soul.
Rest me in peace.
July 1st, 2014
Click here for your July 2014 update!
July 1st, 2014
by Elaine Lee, Membership and Communications Director
“Make for Me a Mikdash…” was the refrain on Sunday morning, June 8 at Temple Micah’s and Park Hill United Methodist Church’s history-making (Re)Dedication of the Babbs Memorial Chapel at 5209 Montview Blvd., in Denver. The restyled sacred space, Rabbi Adam Morris explained, will be known from generation to generation as the Temple Micah Mikdash at Babbs Chapel, spawning a spontaneous chorus of “Amens.”
This faithful gathering, including Temple Micah, PHUMC plus neighbors, filled the Main Parlor of the church’s large Sanctuary. The event drew hundreds of people, more than could fit at once into the smaller renovated holy place being renamed in Hebrew, “Mikdash.” No one seemed to mind the name change or the crowd. Before and after the dedication, participants visited the Mikdash to gaze at Jewish symbols including a Mezuzah, serving as a commanding sign on the doorpost, and a newly installed Ner Tamid, or Eternal Light, signifying the Divine and proclaiming as translated from Hebrew: “Know before Whom you stand.”
It was literally and figuratively a moving celebration months in the making, as the church Chapel became transformed into a space mainly for Jewish use. The ceremony reminded those present of the covenant created between the temple and this church in January, shortly after Temple Micah had moved here from a congenial 3-1/2-decade precedent of leasing from and partnering with Park Hill Congregational Church at 2600 Leyden St., in the same neighborhood.
The ceremony also punctuated Temple Micah’s and PHUMC’s potential for positive interaction ahead. As suggested by clergy remarks and smiles all around, opportunities for increasing familiarity and understanding abound.
“Brothers and sisters in Christ,“ PHUMC’s Rev. Dr. Eric Smith greeted everyone, quickly adding “excuse me” as he turned to the rabbi to ask, “How should I put that?”
Rabbi Morris replied, “Brothers and sisters… just brothers and sisters.”
“Alright,” Pastor Smith continued, “brothers and sisters, we come to consecrate this Chapel!”
After co-led rituals by the rabbi and the reverend and singing led by David Ross, also playing keyboard, the celebration branched out with self-guided explorations of the renovated Mikdash, socializing in the Coffee Bar, and encouragement of PHUMC Youth Ministry’s upcoming social action trip to Belize, Mexico, partly funded that day by a BBQ lunch and a ceramics sale.
Recalling the Chapel’s prior naming for the Rev. Dr. J. Carleton Babbs, who served in the PHUMC pulpit between 1955-1974, Pastor Smith lauded Pastor Babbs’ recognition of the “necessity of eliminating all barriers” including racial discrimination, to church membership. “He was the one who really helped us be a multicultural church.”
Reena Carter, a member of PHUMC, welcomes Temple Micah’s space-sharing for a related reason. “To me, it adds to the diversity our church has been known for,” she said. “I love the coming together of the congregations.”
Amener Williams, attending this event with two grandchildren and a niece, said, “I think it’s wonderful that we’re sharing space. The ceremony was beautiful and energizing. I loved the music – and we hope for good things coming out of our fellowship.”
Aaron Tate, an East High School freshman, is on the church’s delegation to Belize – and hopes to perhaps travel someday too with Temple Micah teens, or to plan fundraising events and fun times together “so that we could get to know each other better.”
“I’m delighted that we made a decision and you guys made a decision to join hands together,” John Childs said. “The merging of our two faiths, it’s like a marriage made in heaven.” From maintaining the building to using the facility more fully and effectively, there are many ways that the temple’s presence will help the church, he stressed. Childs has been a PHUMC member for almost 50 years, as an usher, on the planning committee and the board, while trying to help the church with anything that needed attention. He well remembers Dr. Babbs as a preacher who strived “to live the faith and who felt the church should represent the community and everyone should be welcome.”
Pastor Babbs worked diligently not only to convince this congregation to integrate itself and to expand opportunities for participation among all of its members, but also went around urging other churches in the area to do so, Childs reminisced. The church now is proud to include “a little bit of everybody,” he added. In that tradition, PHUMC congregants have warmly welcomed Temple Micah to be part of and to help build an even more diversified sacred community.
Temple Micah is a friendly Reform Jewish synagogue, trying in the words of its namesake, the biblical prophet Micah, to “Do Justly. Love Mercy. Walk Humbly.” The temple has drawn diverse congregants from across greater Denver for more than 50 years. For more information about Temple Micah or the Mikdash/Chapel (Re)Dedication, visit http://www.micahdenver.org, or call Elaine Lee, 303-388-4239 x1.
A NOTE TO POTENTIAL MICAH MEMBERS…
Visitors are welcome, whether in the synagogue’s quarters with PHUMC at 5209 Montview Blvd., or at Temple Micah’s Shabbat outings around the town this summer. The congregation of Temple Micah is eager to greet you and to help you participate; applications for affiliation are accepted throughout the year. Membership and dues info are available at http://www.micahdenver.org. Or call 303-388-4239 x1.
MEET THESE BABIES…
- Conrad Woods, born May 29, 2014, is the son of Tia & Andrew Woods & brother of Kiya.
- Tylur Jacob Lockhart, born May 27, 2014, to Jennifer & Jonathan Lockhart, is the grandson of Sheri Lockhart and Fritz Lockhart.
- Mabel Shapiro, born April 5, 2014, is the daughter of Meagan Londy Shapiro & Andrew Shapiro & sister of Vivienne.
MAZEL TOV TO THIS RECENT GRAD…
- Jacob Theis was very active in the theatre community at George Washington High School. His roles included Perchik in Fiddler on the Roof, Octavius Caesar in Antony and Cleopatra, and Corny Collins in Hairspray. After graduating in June and spending his summer as kitchen staff at Shwayder Camp, he’ll be off to the University of Arizona where he is interested in studying marketing.
- Ellen Rose, yahrzeit June 12, 2014, sister of Michael Rose (& sister-in-law of Melissa Weiser-Rose)
THANK YOU FOR THE GENEROSITY… (donations Temple Micah received in the past month)
- Estate of Erich Callmann
- Kate Chasansky — Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund in appreciation of his guidance through her conversion journey
- Karen Hagler — Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund in appreciation for including her brother, Myron Goldstein, for Misheberach and reading the yahrzeit of Debby Furman
- Meagan Londy Shapiro & Stephen Shapiro – Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund for naming of their daughter, Mabel Shapiro
- David Teitelman — General donation in honor of Admiral Michelle Howard, aunt of Sol Teitelman
- Adriana Weinberg – General Operating Fund in memory of her parents, Maria & Heinrich Weinberg
(Temple Micah is grateful for every contribution. For information about how to make a donation, or in case of any inaccuracy in this listing, contact Elaine Lee, 303-388-4239 x1, firstname.lastname@example.org.)
2014 JEWISH APPRECIATION DAY AT THE COLORADO ROCKIES…
- Click on the link above to hear and glimpse Micah kids and more singing the “Star-Spangled Banner” on Sunday, June 22 at Coors Field. The ad hoc children’s chorus was directed by Uri Ayn Rovner, Temple Micah cantorial soloist, Hebrew teacher and tutor and proprietor of Calliope Music Studios.
- InnovAge Home Care is a nonprofit organization that could be useful to you or someone you know, says Alice Alban, a Micah board member familiar with the group. The organization offers home care, money management, companionship, information, referral, transportation and Medicare/Medicaid counseling to help adults be independent as long as possible. Some people age 50 and up or disabled may be eligible for free help managing finances; all must meet income guidelines of below $22,340 per year for an individual or below $30,260 per year for a couple. Money Management volunteers sort mail, organize bills, prepare budgets, prepare checks for signature, ensure timely bill payment and may do other financial tasks. Call Gaile Weisbly-Waldinger, 303-300-6933.
July 1st, 2014
by Michael Clapman, President, and Michael Aubrey, Secretary, Board of Trustees
Dear Fellow Temple Micah Congregants:
Following you will find the minutes of the Temple Micah 2014 Annual Meeting. I want to thank all of you who were able to attend. Your participation and comments were greatly appreciated by the board. We want to recognize and apologize for the oversight of not providing to you in advance of the meeting, our recommended slate of board members and officers, as required by the bylaws. We are committed to insure that it will not happen again. As a couple of you pointed out, we also recognize that there are other provisions of the bylaws that have not been adhered to strictly.
Over the past many years, the nature of Temple Micah and the pattern of governance has changed some, and in some cases, prudence and efficiency have dictated that procedures and policies be put in place that are in some variance to the bylaws. For example, the bylaws require a few standing committees whose responsibilities have for some time been handled by temple staff, and therefore, asking congregants to serve on those committees would have been superfluous.
That being said, we understand that it is inappropriate to vary from an organization’s bylaws. As many of you know, we have created the Governance Task Force. This group is made up of congregants, board members and staff. The purpose of the group is to study our current governance model and recommend changes that would enhance our ability to manage the temple’s business, recruit and develop volunteers and leaders and ensure that we are completely in compliance with our bylaws. This may result in changes to our current bylaws, and if so, you will be kept informed and the process for making those changes will be done in accordance with the requirements of our current bylaws.
The work of the Governance Task Force will be completely transparent and you will be kept apprised of its progress. If you have questions, concerns or suggestions, please feel free to let me or the rabbi know. I can be reached at email@example.com (or through the temple, 303-388-4239).
Board of Trustees Meeting Agenda: Annual Meeting
June 8, 2014
D’var Torah (Rabbi)
Annual meetings are about numbers and by symmetry we are in the book of Numbers. In this week’s portion Moses sends the spies to survey the land. Some spies say it is dangerous and occupied by “giants”. Two spies, however, report that the land overflows with milk and honey.
The people are aroused by the danger and it is this sin (of the exaggerated danger) that results in the people wandering in the desert for 40 years.
Salting the mood of the people with fear and distrust is a sin.
We have an obligation to honestly assess ourselves. We also need to not see ourselves as grasshoppers to the giants of the larger community but simply appreciate our strengths and weaknesses.
Welcome and President’s Report – Mike C
It has not been a quiet year at Temple Micah. We have moved and the board has approved a 10 year extension to the Rabbi’s contract. The future path is established and solid moving forward.
However, to ensure our well-being we have established three task forces: 1. Governance, 2. Micah Tomorrow, and 3. A group looking at short-term revenue and expenses.
Budget Update and 2014 – 2015 Budget – David
Budget summary for 2013 to 2014.
Our income increased by 11% and expenses rose in concert. Our longterm savings rose about 2%. Our Money Market declined due to expenses associated with the move. So, year-over-year the picture is on track.
However, on the budget we had some shortfalls.
-Dues collections met targets for the first time in memory
-Donations were lower than planned
-Several planned fundraising efforts failed to materialize
-Micah Move Over effort may have cannibalized other efforts
Expenses: On target to meet budget
TA: Keeping a close eye on expenses and maximizing dues
Approach to 2014-2015 Budget:
-Incorporate positive trend in dues collections since the dues committee will continue to do their good work
-Temper expectations around “general donations” including lower HH attendance
-Using 2013-2014 as the core factor to predict next year’s budget
Outlook for 2014-2015 Budget:
Shortfall: $43K less $23K for income on investments for an overall shortfall of $23K
Comment #1: Is the cause of HH reduction due to the location of the services?
Response: Probably not since we redirected people to the new location. Also, the trend has been downward for some time. Over time there has been a trend for less community-wide attendance at HH and attendance limited more to our membership. Our membership has increased slightly to 207 units and this does not compensate for the decreased community attendance.
Comment #2: Can the RS be a place to recruit new members. This year there were not any non-member families at RS
Comment #3: What do we pay URJ for affiliation? Follow Up Question: Are we looking at URJ membership critically?
Response: A significant amount based on membership. 17K per year. The Revenue and Expense Task force will look at this.
Comment #4: How much received for Micah Move-Over?
Comment #5: Why not pay off entire shortfall rather than just half?
Response: We did not want to use more than 20K, which has historical precedent. We also want to set a level of fiscal discipline and the new Revenue and Expense Task Force is a response to this.
Additionally, this is not a onetime event. We have had a habit of running these shortfalls. Withdrawing the extra monies is not a longterm solution.
Budget Approval: Approved without dissent.
Revenue/Expenses Review Task Force – Brian
Purpose and Mission: Find $23K in 2015 and erase the budget deficit. There are no sacred cows- Every line item will be examined. The Task Force will then report back to the board, which will ultimately make the decision of where to act.
We are unlikely to save our way out of the deficit. We will need new sources of revenue.
Members; Brenda Bruno, Greg DeRosa, Brian Silverman, David Teitelman
Comment #1: Will you be brainstorming new revenue sources?
Response: Yes, but not making specific recommendations for a single fundraiser. And the approach has to be sustainable so we do not exhaust our volunteers.
Comment #2: What if a member has a specific idea?
Response: Contact the committee.
Micah Governance Task Force – Helen
The May retreat spawned novel ideas on Micah Governance. We realized that we do not have an organized way of tapping the talent of our members.
-Are there ways to reorganize the board?
-How are leaders identified and supported?
-How do we recruit people and match them to work that they are good at?
-How can staff be best utilized?
Observation: People want to do the things they are good at but do not want to be overwhelmed with work.
Members: Helen Speigel, Sharon Thorson, Amy Anderson, Tony Frank, Rabbi Morris.
Comment #1: What is “governance”?
Response: It is the entire system from board to staff to volunteers.
Comment #2: Example?
Response: We have a Woman’s Homeless Initiative. A member wrote about the women’s experiences. That took advantage of the member’s expertise and interest without asking more than she could give.
Micah Tomorrow – Nancy
Few of the members have heard of the Task Force despite multiple blogs on the topic. The Rose Community Foundation that arose from the sale of the Rose Hospital works with Jewish organizations to invest in their future so that they can “live-on” in perpetuity. The program starts with training and a $6K grant doled out in portions.
Where we are now: We have looked our finances and history. To big influxes of funds: 1. Sale of the original building and 2. Building fundraising around the year 2000. We decided thoughtfully that we are not to be building owners; which is in the best interest of a community of our size.
So, we have these two pots of money that can be invested.
Rose will manage these funds. Our Designated Fund (available at any time) and our Endowment Fund (restricted monies for the long term). We can use UP TO 5% of the Endowment Fund each year to meet immediate needs.
The ongoing process will be to grow the Endowment Fund to fund Micah through the unpredictable future. We will be talking to everyone who loves Micah; not just those in their twilight years.
Comment #1: How was Rose vetted and chosen?
Response: This was deeply investigated and compared to Wells Fargo and Jewish Colorado. Note that Rose is managing hundreds of millions of dollars.
Comment #2: What is the purpose of the endowment?
Response: Keep Micah in existence and eventually endow the Rabbi’s position.
Comment #3: Do we get less interest by dividing the monies between two funds?
Response: No. Just different rules for each fund
Comment #4: Will we be protected from market vagaries?
Response: No. Both will be in growth-orientated funds.
Comment #5: There are life insurance funds that pay to institutions rather than individual beneficiaries
Response: Task Force will look at
Board and Officers Election – Mike C
Three retiring board members; Jason (5 years), Nancy (4 years), and Dena (4 years). Each of these retiring board members will continue to serve on Micah committees.
Proposed Slate for 2014-2015:
President: Michael Clapman
Vice President: Brian Silverman
Secretary: Michael Aubrey
Treasurer: David Teitelman
At Large: Alice Alban, Chuck Kessler, Helen Spiegel
As part of our rethinking of governance we are proposing to not change the board this year. We are instead proposing a “continuing resolution”.
Comment #1: How are we going to get everything done?
Response: We have already divvied the essential duties. Board members have signed on to step up during this interim. This may be less than a year depending upon when the Governance Task Force makes their recommendations.
Comment #2: Do the bylaws need to be changed? The bylaws must be changed by community vote.
Response: The bylaws allow for changes to occur at a special meeting. If the Task Force makes a recommendation to expand the board we will release a slate with 30 days notice and call a special meeting if needed. Presently, the structure of the board is within the confines of the bylaws.
Possibly, the model will be to strengthen the committee heads who report frequently to the board without actually serving on the board.
Comment #3: Great that you are willing to take this on and think creatively. In some ways this is a growing pain of getting larger.
Comment #4: How will this be communicated to the Micah community? How will we reach the newer members with these important changes?
Response: Use the Micah Move Over model. Emails and talk to people at events. But, honestly, this is part of the process of learning how to best communicate. For example, the dues committee contacts every member but could also plumb member interests and abilities.
Comment #1: What happened to our Mission Statement?
Response: We know what makes Micah special. The board and Rabbi use the essence of the Mission Statement to help in decision making
Comment #2: Where is Tikkun Olam in our Mission Statement and Task Forces?
Response: Our Governance Task force will help address this deficit by finding the volunteers to help repair the world.
Comment #3: Save the date for the Golf Tournament and it is for everyone.
Comment #4: Can we extend our Tikkun Olam to our everyday lives?