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Committee Updates, Music of the Menorah and Kol Ami at URJ 150: Presidents Update 

01/03/2024 11:57:02 AM


Shalom and Happy New Year - we hope 2024 brings strength and joy to our beloved Kol Ami community. As your board co-presidents, we would like to share our monthly updates. As always, we welcome your feedback and suggestions to our Kol Ami email addresses: and
Music of the Menorah: The board recognizes and thanks Janene Sneider and Hope Faust for their leadership in imagining and implementing the moving Music of the Menorah event last month. We raised more than $20,000 to strengthen the Kol Ami community during this transition year. Special thanks to our:
  • Pillars of Peace: Loren Ostrow and Brian Newkirk
  • Ambassadors of the Menorah: Don Klein, Marc Purchin and Steven Escobar, Dr. Richard and Nattawat Ross, and Dr. Mason Sommers and Rami Aizic.
  • Patrons of the Menorah: David Kaminski and Patrick Auerbach, Ed.D. Marilyn Ader and Karen Shanbrom, and Richard Bernard, Ph.D.
  • Champions of the Menorah: Janene Sneider, Rabbi Denise Eger and Rabbi Eleanor Steinman, Tobi Rosen, David Bernstein and Bernie Goldberg, Robert Zabb
  • Musical director David Kaminski, as well as the synagogue staff Adam Rotenberg, Tyler Christiansen and Hugo Reyes for their behind the scenes support of this event. 
  • And everyone who supported the campaign and attended the event. 
Committee Updates: A key board priority is increasing lay leadership and engagement at Kol Ami. We have formed several committees in the spirit of shared leadership: 
  • Rabbi Search Committee: Richard Bernard chairs the rabbi search committee, which has engaged several candidates during the month of December. The committee invited one candidate for a site visit and met a number of congregants through small meetings, teachings, and meals. Two additional applicants provided teachings to the committee, and three new candidates submitted applications to the committee towards the end of the month. The rabbi search process is ongoing.  
  • Membership Committee: Dan Blatt chairs the membership committee, which met in December to discuss outreach strategies, plan follow up activities for people new to Kol Ami, and prepare an inter-generational game event tentatively scheduled for January 28. 
  • New Revenue Sources: Mark Cohen chairs the new revenue sources committee, which is working to earn revenue from our building through events, filming, office space, and parking rentals. The committee has developed building use policies and measured/photographed temple spaces. If you know someone looking for rental space, please contact Mark. 
  • Ritual Committee: Marilyn Ader chairs the ritual committee and met with Rabbi Lutz this month to begin planning Purim and Passover programming. 
Kol Ami @ URJ 150: Cary Davidson, Peter Mackler, Gideon Murphy, and Leonard Slutsky attended the 150th anniversary of the Reform Judaism movement conference in Washington, DC. In addition to beautiful and inspiring prayer, the participants connected with leaders from other reform synagogues throughout the United States and Canada to learn about innovative practices for creating communities of belonging. 
Thank you for reading this update and we look forward to seeing you at shul in the new year!

Rebecca Shurz and Leonard Slutsky

Tue, April 23 2024 15 Nisan 5784