Friends, it's been a great year for this cantor/educator...and (if I may speak for us as a whole--) this community! In terms of numbers our school grew by about 10%. By the time we start this coming year, our student body will be well into the 80's (not including a growing pre-school cadre and the many PSC kids enrolled in local day schools). If you take that all into account, PSC now has close to 200 children within its ranks--an all-time high. We've had, within our school, a smooth year with an almost fully-returned faculty; that faculty is, for the most part, returning next year as well. Our school for 5754 has our teaching faculty completely in place (that, too, is a rare thing among congregations at this point in the year--and a blessing for me!).
I'm also relieved, once again, that we met our commitment (as a school) of bringing in more income than anticipated and spending less than anticipated....at least as a school budget overall. I should mention that this year brought with it a reboot for our Education Committee--a group of people whose feedback and support I'm particularly grateful for. This group is now led by Marla Sofer and including Lee Strieb, Jackie Schwartzer, and Ariella Kelman, We're open to growing by one or two members, so please let us know if you're interested.
When I perused my calendar (as cantor and/or educator) for the past year, there were too many highlights to recall but amongst them I'd need to mention: * a great high holy day season * our tremendously successful fundraisers such as the garage sale, candy sales, Tribal Blues Band event, and (for the shul overall) our b'nai mitzvah! * a spiritual and fun camping trip that all of us can't wait to repeat in a couple months * the Global Day of Jewish Learning where our faculty came together with educators from throughout the Bay Area * a magnificent year of working with my important partners--Rabbi Helfand and Sara Kirschenbaum * renewed and vibrant adult education taught by us, our own lay experts, and visiting scholars * for the re-entry of some concerts and Jewish cultural events, including a recent cantorial concert, and our upcoming Mama Doni concert next month (which we hope you'll all be at). * continued attendance and fun at our holy day events, Shavuot, Yom Hashoah, and Purim, in particular...as well as our Lag Ba'Omer picnic (we also hope you'll join us next week for the second annual one) * and on a personal (though also communal note)--the outpouring of love and support for a wedding that took place in October.
This has not been a perfect year...and there is always room for improvement in our school...as well as in our shul...and, most of all, in the cantor/educator. I'm working on those right now! See me afterwards for a list of ideas. (...or to add your own ideas for improvement). That said, I do thank you all for a very memorable year of relative smooth sailing....and I thank you all for taking me on, yet again, for the coming years, as President Storm and I just signed a contract for our next five years together. I promise to continue to do my best....to continue to learn...and change and evolve as we grow together in this community.
Finally, one last thank you to this outgoing Board, but in particular to its leader, who has been nothing but supportive and kind during these past two (plus) years of both challenge and great times. So I'd like to say, one more time, and officially--todah rabbah, "President Pete!"