October 10, 2018

I am writing to wish everyone in the synagogue a happy and healthy new year.  Thank you for celebrating the New Year with us.  I also want to express my deepest gratitude and thanks to Rabbi Myers for leading an excellent and impressively efficient service; to Sarah Nadler for her amazing voice and ease of collaborating with Rabbi Myers; to Stephen Weiss for his work leading parts of his service; for Irwin Harris for directing our congregants in sharing parts of the service; for Alan Hausman and Alex Speck for all their work behind the scenes to make the services possible; for all of our Torah readers young and veteran who showed us the present and future of the synagogue; to all the other many volunteers who played a role, and to our past presidents, who stood in representation of all that has brought us to this point in the history of the synagogue.

Most of all, I wish to thank all the congregants who volunteered to give time to the synagogue or who showed their financial suppo...

Dear Fellow Congregants:

I write you at a time of tremendous ongoing change for our synagogue.  We have recently witnessed the departures of our esteemed former executive director Mr. Joel Goldstein, our hard working former controller Mrs. Janet Mernagh, and a long term member of our maintenance staff, David Kurban.  A year after our change in Rabbinical leadership and two months after our tremendous long term president Michael Eisenberg stepped back to become our most recent past president, these are losses that can sting.  More important, they can feel unsettling and provoke sadness and reflection.

I have felt this change as acutely as any of you.  This is not the presidency that I signed up for.  I thought Michael had done all the hard work!  What I have learned however, is that with adversity and change come possibility and opportunity. Despite these changes, much has occurred to continue our upward course.  We and Dor Hadash Congregation have agreed to the merger of our He...

Summer greetings from the new President of Tree of Life, Or L’Simcha.  It is somewhat strange and discomfiting to say that.  I feel I have large shoes to fill after the amazing work that our new Past President, Michael Eisenberg did over the last five years. For those of you who do not know me, I am a local psychologist working in private practice, with a wonderful wife who is a school psychologist and two children who never fail to leave me speechless.  My wife and I were married at Tree of Life many years ago, and her family can be traced back to the beginning of the synagogue, so I am told.

As I considered what to write for this Simcha Tree article, I was struck by a thought as I was driving in Squirrel Hill.  The traffic light for me to resume driving had turned green, and I waited for a pedestrian to cross in front of me.  The person openly started across against a red light, casually strolling across without a look or thought.  The pedestrian’s determination and indiffer...

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