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President's Message - December 2017

KimberlyOlkerFrom the President

It may seem cliché at this time of year to speak of being thankful, but I truly welcome this seasonal reminder to focus more on gratitude.

Sometimes we get so caught up in life and activities that we forget to appreciate what we have. This especially happens to me as the holidays approach and life seems a bit more chaotic than usual. At Thanksgiving, I paused a moment to see past what I considered “less than ideal” (like my immediate family not all being together) and instead reflected on what I could truly appreciate – being included with friends and family for a celebration, the additional invitations from 2 TOR families to join their holiday gatherings and the happiness and health of my family. Focusing on being thankful always shifts my attitude to a better place.  

I recently re-read a quote from Pirke Avot that I plan to post at my desk as an important personal reminder: “Who is rich? Those who rejoice in their own portion.” I love this simple quote. In an age when many find themselves on social media comparing themselves to others and being reminded of what they lack, I think it’s crucial to focus on what we have with sincere gratitude.

This past week, I find myself looking towards our congregation and TOR community with additional gratitude. We have so many wonderful volunteers and staff members at TOR and I need to do a better job of acknowledging them for all they do! I personally want to thank all who are involved at every level, from those who agree to come early to help with a meal or oneg to those who help prepare our students for their important day at the Bimah. Some of you give your time and talents to committees and others help deliver baskets to the needy in our community. In addition, I have seen so many recent instances of congregants “being there” in a time of need for each other – this is what makes our community so special. Every job is important and it’s all necessary for the success of our congregation.

I appreciate all the efforts of our congregants and am honored to contribute my efforts to help in the continued success and growth of our TOR community. Thank YOU each for all you do!

With sincere gratitude,


"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it" - Ferris Bueller

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