The President’s Blog

As members of Washington Hebrew Congregation, we benefit from exceptional worship, programming, educational opportunities, and social action efforts that have become a national model. Leading all of these efforts are our clergy and education professionals. I am sure you know them well. What may be less apparent to many of you is that over the past decade, Rabbi Lustig, Executive Director Steve Jacober and our Board of Directors have built a solid administrative leadership infrastructure.

We are now blessed with a dynamic senior administrative team comprised of individuals who are well-regarded in their professional communities, and dedicated to advancing the mission of Washington Hebrew Congregation. They include Naomi Abelson, Director of Programs and TOV; Lindsay Fry Feldman, Director of Member Services; Miriam Feffer, Director of Development; Mohan Mistry, Director of Engineering; and Stephen Stoupa, Director of Finance.

Just as the clergy are here for WHC members in times of celebration and need, the administrative directors are valuable – and valued – resources to everyone who has contact with WHC. They are bridge builders and problem solvers with a focus on customer service that would make even the best in the hospitality industry stand up and take notice. Their doors, phone lines, and email boxes are open to you for guidance or assistance on WHC matters.

We are a better organization because of these individuals, and I am grateful for the dedication and talent they bring to WHC. I believe many of you feel the same way … During the High Holy Days, I was approached by Temple members who shared how special the entire holiday experience – worship and beyond – was for them. The pride I felt as the Congregation’s president was immeasurable. What I told these congregants, and share with you now, is that I encourage you to reach out and express your appreciation to the staff whose vision, leadership, and dedication made it possible. I believe you will find that your membership will take on a new level of meaning because of it.

The thousands of congregants who attended our High Holy Day services and participate in our programs realize that WHC is a strong and vibrant community. This is no accident or stroke of luck. Rather it results, in large measure, from an ever-present goal to achieve excellence in all that we do through constant reflection and a quest to do better than we have before. In that spirit, as you will read on page five of the November WHC Journal or here on our website, we are beginning the process of envisioning what WHC will look like in 10 years when our congregation celebrates its 175th anniversary. This effort will bring together diverse groups of WHC members in early 2017 to discuss, brainstorm, and imagine their ideal for Washington Hebrew Congregation in 2027. Our goal is to determine how we can go from strength to strength – meeting the future needs of our current membership and anticipating the needs of future members. I hope you will sign up and add your voice to this conversation.

As a nonprofit organization, everything we do, today and in the future, depends on the financial participation of our members. Yet, membership revenues and fees support just 77% of our annual operating costs. For the remaining 23%, we count on your support of Yad B’Yad – the WHC Annual Fund. It is through Yad B’Yad and other efforts led by Director of Development Miriam Feffer that we have the funding not just to sustain but to create inspirational worship, leading-edge educational opportunities, innovative social action projects, and exceptional cultural programming.

In this season of thanksgiving, I hope you count Washington Hebrew Congregation among the many blessings in your life. With your support of Yad B’Yad, our dynamic community can continue to lead the way.