The President’s Blog

A couple of weeks ago I was installed as President of Washington Hebrew Congregation in an evening that was filled with family, prayer, gratitude for the past, and emphasis on the future. Frankly, it was a true microcosm of the blessings of living a Jewish life and all that goes on at Washington Hebrew Congregation.

In my remarks, I summarized three goals that I have set for the next two years. These are broad goals that are neither surprising nor novel, but rather reflect what I believe is the need to recommit to our heritage and satisfy our thirst for spiritual fulfillment at a time when we are so easily distracted by the details of simply getting through the day. The goals I outlined can be summarized as follows:

  1. To take every opportunity we can to meet the spiritual needs of our members and those who we touch, but do so in a fiscally responsible way to ensure a strong future.
  2. To make a difference in our community and the world by taking advantage of our status as one of the largest and most influential religious institutions in this city and Reform Jewish congregations in the country; as well as tapping into the breadth and depth of the individual achievements and interests of our members.
  3. To openly and honestly explore and assess our need and ability to remain relevant in today’s world.

As members of Washington Hebrew Congregation, these goals should sound familiar. They are basically variations on themes of which we have been told and reminded time and again. But that does not diminish the significance and challenge they represent. As President, I am so grateful to be able to work with such a wonderful and committed Executive Committee and Board of Directors to do what we can to accomplish these goals. Whatever success we can achieve will be due in large part to the guidance and leadership of our wonderful clergy and staff who work tirelessly to make sure that we remain aware of and true to our core values. We are so fortunate to be able to benefit from their insight, knowledge, perspective, and talents.

As President, I know that I can be most effective if there are full and open lines of communication with you, our members. Although I am sure that your needs and mine will overlap in a number of ways, I recognize that there will be others where they differ significantly. I would like to know how WHC has met your needs; how you would like it to do so; or, frankly, your thoughts on anything connected to WHC – its programs, mission, future, or anything else. You can connect with me in a variety of ways. I will try to attend as many events as I can, and I encourage you to do the same, understanding that neither of us will be able to attend everything. If you see me, please let me know what you are thinking – good, bad and indifferent – and please introduce yourself if we do not know each other. You can also email me at; call the Temple office (202-362-7100) and leave a message with the receptionist asking me to return your call; or write to me at Washington Hebrew Congregation, 3935 Macomb Street, NW, Washington, DC 2016, and I will do my best to respond as quickly as possible.

For my part, I will try to let you know what I am thinking and what is going on through monthly blog posts and Journal articles, and I welcome feedback and reaction to these as well.

Thank you again for providing me this opportunity to serve, and I look forward to sharing this journey together.