From Lou Spiro
TBK President

Time for Change

Welcome to 2015 and our thoughts about change that go along with a new year. Many people make resolutions about things that they want to change about themselves - better work/life balance, more exercise, improved diet, etc.  But change is hard and frequently we slip back into our old habits. Group change is even harder to accomplish and there is typically resistance and a longing to return to “the good old days”. We have just begun reading Sh’mot (Exodus), and we see how the newly freed Israelites complained about their life in the desert on the way to the Promised Land, and how much better they said it had been in Egypt, even though their lives had been extremely harsh under slavery.

Change is taking place locally as the Rochester Jewish Community ages and shrinks in size. All of our congregations are impacted by these demographic realities. TBK has lost about 15 percent of our member families over the past five years due to retirements away from the area, deaths and fewer new families moving here. These trends are continuing and our structural budget deficit will only get worse with continued demographic declines - unless we do things differently. Now is the time for us to make these necessary changes so that we can manage our congregational future. Now is the time to take charge of change and imagine a bright future for TBK.

The feasibility study for a comprehensive fundraising campaign is ongoing and it is expected to indicate that there will be significant congregational support to increase the TBK Foundation’s endowment along with providing funds for immediate building needs. The Foundation’s increased investment income will help support our operating budget, which is a very necessary, but not sufficient outcome. We continue to consider changes that would reduce expenditures and/or increase revenues and look forward to collaboration opportunities with other synagogues.  

The Board of Trustees plays a big role in these changes, and with the nominating process beginning we are looking for congregants who are comfortable “thinking outside of the box” and willing to commit their time and expertise to making change happen successfully.

Change also means that we need to do more as individuals. We need more people who are willing to reach out to our new members to help them become integrated into the congregation. More people are needed to reach out to unaffiliated friends and invite them to come to TBK with them for services or programs. More people need to build relationships among our young families so that they stay engaged beyond the Religious School years.

Change will take place whether we like it or not. Let’s all commit to making the necessary changes together that will ensure the successful future of our congregation.

We note with sorrow the passing of the following and extend our sympathy to the family members who are part of our TBK family:

Member Laura Gallant passed away July 23, 2017.  Wife of Doug Gallant; mother of Aaron & Heather

Julian Alexander member & husband of Virginia passed away July 19, 2017

Philip Onimus brother of member Don (Lorraine Wolch) Onimus passed away July 16, 2017

Sanford Gradinger member & husband of Stephanie Gradinger passed away July 14th.  Daughter Laurel (Christopher Sloan) Gradinger and their children Camryn, Carter, Chandler, Kyler and Hudson

Member Sylvia Itkin passed away July 7, 2017.  Wife of member William Rapkin, Sister of member Ruth Weiss

Rochelle Sur, mother of Joe(Kristi) Shur and grandmother of Taylor & Alex passed away on July 6, 2017

Malcolm Moses father of Betsy (Marc) Album & grandfather of Jacob & Maxwell Album on July 5, 2017

Member Musya Voskoboynik passed away July 5, 2017

Member Mikhal Kotel passed away June 15, 2017.  Survived by wife Genya Feldman

Peggy Goldberg, mother of Barbara Baron (Ken)

Elaine Hoffman, member

Dr. Saul Narotsky father of member Samuel (Irene) Narotsky

Marian Rifkin mother of member Gail (Richard) Leess

Member Mariya Gordon mother of Anna (Seymour) Papernov

Irwin Rosenbloom, brother of member Barbara Movsky (widow of our past Executive Director)

Hildegard Herz member and mother of Josh (Ruth Fried) Herz

Member Dr. John Green, husband of Marlene Green

Member Annette Sheiman

Toby Shinder mother of member Nancy (David) Wallach

Member Ruth Bloom

Member Elaine Brauer

Member Florence Wecksler

Member Maurice Isner survived by his wife Marcia

Craig George member and husband of Sarada George

Rosalind Krebs, member and wife of Paul Krebs

Roslyn Hirst, member and mother of  Sally Hirst (Douglas Miller)

Louis Rusitzky, brother of Harris ‘Bud’ Rusitzky (Joan)

Dan Bratu, member and father of Anca Leibovici (Adrian)

Robert Fine, nephew of Harvey Fine, Paul Fine and Gerri Fine, and cousin of Steven Fine (Lynn)  and their son Jordan

Barbara Fine, member, wife of Harvey Fine, mother of Lori Taschman (Robert), grandmother of Zachary, Jane and Caroline Taschman and sister-in-law of Paul Fine and Geraldine Fine

Jack Sherman, member and husband of Marcia

Charles ‘Chuck’ Mendelson, father of Susan Fogal (Tim) and grandfather of Benjamin and Adam Fogal

Esther Krieger, member

Suzan Litten, member and partner of Curtis Robinson