From The President’s Desk

A LITTLE BIT OF THIS; A LITTLE BIT OF THAT

 

I know you’re expecting that the theme of this article be introduced with what has become my traditional opening using song lyrics. Well after an extensive internet search, I couldn’t find something I felt comfortable with to use with this month’s theme of bringing you up to date on various goings-on at your shul. So, please forgive me (or feel thankful) for my (albeit temporarily) parting with tradition and foregoing the use of a song lyric this month. Hopefully with a theme more conducive to song, I’ll be returning to tradition next issue.

Front and center to this month’s article, I ask that you join me in congratulating Rabbi Elkodsi and her team for the outstanding job of planning and making MJC’s first community Passover Seder a reality and an overwhelming success by all measures. I’m sure those of you who were able to participate or have even heard about it from those who did will agree with me. We had more than 30 participants, many of whom were new faces and a good number of whom really appreciated the opportunity to celebrate this wonderful holiday with fellow Jews, as it should be. We certainly look forward to seeing them again soon and from the feedback I’ve received, that will indeed be the case. An excellent evening enjoyed by all and the food wasn’t bad either. Once more, congratulations and thank you Rabbi.

Next on the list is to fill you in on that light at the end of the tunnel with respect to all the construction work that’s been going on in the Berger Room and the Chapel for the past several months

As you may know, the work was driven by the need to install a fire sprinkler system required by municipal codes in conjunction with the extensive renovations being carried on by the Bridge Church elsewhere in the building. Admittedly, we have been significantly affected by the work in our space, ranging from the dust we’ve endured to the effect of the work on the heating system, the lighting of the Berger Room and just the general appearance of our space.

For this, I apologize and thank you for your patience, but please understand that it has not been for lack of effort on the part of your leadership that we have been experiencing the rotten conditions since prior to Chanukah. The good news however, is that the sprinkler work has been completed and the rebuilding (including cleanup) will begin shortly, with a new, modern, LED-lighted ceiling to be installed in the Berger Room

Additionally, I am including funding in the new budget to provide for some badly-needed spruce-up work of our space. While the Executive Committee, under the guidance of House Committee Chair Herb Brodsky will be defining the work to be done, I expect that it will include painting, new carpeting and even an awning (Malverne code permitting) over the path leading to and over our entranceway. Aside from keeping us dry during inclement weather, the awning will provide visibility from Hempstead Avenue, letting folks know that we’re here and hopefully attract a guest or two.

So, stay tuned, there’ll be more to come and possibly include something I’ll be able to introduce with a song lyric.

Another consequence of what seems to be never-ending construction work has been the delay in Church’s ability to obtain a certificate of occupancy for their new sanctuary, requiring them to continue using the space right over our heads (our former sanctuary), resulting in noise issues when they are having services at the same time we are running programs or having our own services. This had led to our having to do some tricky scheduling in order to avoid competing with the noise (mostly music, which honestly ain’t bad), including avoiding Sunday morning programs and opting instead to hold them later in the day (a’ la April’s semi-annual Congregation Meeting).

Because of this scheduling requirement, compounded by UJA Federation’s speaker schedule, we regrettably will not be holding our traditional UJA Federation fundraising brunch this year. Instead, MJC and UJA Federation will be conducting this year’s appeal by letter, in which we will further discuss the reasons for the change and ask you to be as generous as you have in the past for this very worthy organization and its extensive network of agencies serving those in need in the U.S., Israel and so many other parts of the world. So please, as the letter and accompanying materials will discuss, the need is as acute as ever and your continued and generous support will allow the agencies which serve that need to continue their critical work.

As I previously indicated, we’ve begun work on our budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1. This year we’re continuing the process begun last year, with Rabbi Elkodsi and committee chairs proposing those portions of the MJC budget which provide funding of their activities and for which the “owners” will be accountable. The process worked well when introduced last year and we expect to iron out some of the kinks we experienced, which will improve the results this year. As I’ve mentioned on countless occasions in the past, effective fiscal management is vital to our long-term viability on uncompromised terms and a strong budget process is an important component of that objective.

Finally, I’m pleased to report that utilization of our taxi service has increased, making it possible for our members in good standing who have no other practicable means by which join us for services and other events to do so at no out-of-pocket outlay. Please keep this service in mind when deciding whether or not to join us. If you have any questions concerning the service, please call the office.

And for the drivers out there, you may have noticed yellow traffic cones “guarding” parking spots in our lot. These yellow cones are reserving spots for MJC attendees. So, if you come across a parking spot being guarded by a yellow conefeel free to park there. The spot is waiting for you.

During the next two months we’ll celebrating Shavuot and running a host of interesting and fun programs and events, a number of which are described elsewhere in this newsletter. So please plan to join your MJC friends by attending these and be on the lookout for flyers advertising others. Hopefully, April showers will be a memory and we’ll be enjoying May flowers (sorry, I couldn’t help it) and some wonderful programs at the Malverne Jewish Center.

Dave Feldman, President