Lesley Brooks Yom Kippur Speech

Posted by: Lesley Brooks - Co-President on Thursday, September 21, 2017 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

Gmar chatima tova v Shabbat Shalom,

Ilene has just talked about the financial aspect of our L'Dor Vador campaign. I would like to talk to you about another perspective of L'Dor Vador as it relates to volunteering.  In Webster’s dictionary, volunteering is defined as ‘proceeding from the will or from one's own choice or consent to undertake a service.’ Put more simply, deciding to give of your time and effort to do something freely.

Ilene and I are up here representing our Board of Directors.  All 23 of us are volunteers.  Members of the 18 committees at the temple are also volunteers.  And, so many of you sitting here today who volunteer your time to schools, organizations, so towns, and on.  None of us HAS to do this.  We CHOOSE to do it.  We all have so many other things going on in our lives; kids of all ages, jobs, taking care of ourselves.  But those of us who volunteer do so because it fulfills us. How does it fulfill us?  The answer to that question is multifaceted.  Part of it, is a desire to give of ourselves to others who are less fortunate. Part of it is to give of ourselves to an organization that has given us so much.  An organization that perhaps provides enrichment for our children, for ourselves or our parents.  An organization whose values and mission is something we support and agree with.  Or, an organization that provides the spiritual environment that many of us seek for ourselves but, even more so, for future generations.  All of these reasons came to mind for me as I thought about why I give of my time.  But for me, the most fundamental reason that underlies all of this is L’Dor Vador.  The concept of passing onto our children the appreciation and desire to volunteer.

I didn’t get this idea from a book or a class room. It came from my parents.  David and I each grew up in houses where giving of oneself, either financially or with time, was a regular activity, often a priority. The idea of volunteering was as much a part of our household as the office my dad went to each day, and the daily routine of going to school, doing homework, and so on.  This is the mindset that David and I strive to pass on to our children.

Among other things, our family volunteers at TBAY because TBAY enriches our lives in so many ways; education, smachot, and, at some point I’m sure support during a difficult time. Yes, we all pay dues and that entitles us to these benefits but TBAY is so much more than that to all of us.

TBAY is a community for us. A community of friends, clergy and teachers.   It is a place where we can walk into at any point and feel welcome.  All of us here today benefit from TBAY in all of these ways.  Ilene has delivered our message of financial need. I am delivering the message of giving of your time.  Get involved in anything we do.  There are at least 30 different ways you can get involved and if there isn’t something that interests you but you have other ideas, speak to us. We need people to get involved to keep our programming exciting and bring forth new ideas.  We want to hear and learn from you. We have compiled a list of volunteer activities and donation opportunities on the last page of the annual report or as a separate sheet in the hallway.  Please follow the instructions listed, put your name sticker on your sheet, and place them in the box on the table in the hallway.

It is all of our responsibility as members to show the next generation what it takes to make a Jewish community thrive.  Take this opportunity, at the start of the new year, to be an example for the next generation.


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