Do People Care?

Between Passover and the end of the academic school year, like many people, our lives have always been pretty crazy.

End of year events for school, sports teams. Hebrew School and Bar and Bat Mitzvahs. An occasional wedding. Confirmation. Graduations. We haven’t had one of those for a while. Until our daughter graduated from college last weekend.

Sports fans have the return of baseball. We are in the midst of the basketball and hockey playoffs. And the cliffhanger final episodes for a host of TV shows. Even with a DVR, I always have enjoyed watching a playoff basketball game in real time.

And of course there is the annual meeting at synagogue. Along with the last day of Religious School and Confirmation, this is the marking point to the end of another year for the synagogue. Summer is upon us.

Our synagogue’s annual meeting is next week. I have blogged before about how my experience at my synagogue’s annual meeting has evolved – from fistfights to PowerPoints. The one common element throughout the years has always been the waiting. We can’t start the meeting until the 75th or 82nd (I am not sure of the actual number as specified in the bylaws, but these numbers come to mind) person walks in the room. I don’t think there has been a year where the person making the quorum doesn’t walk through the door less than a half hour after the start time.

This year is a little different for our synagogue. Our rabbi, Steven Kushner, recently shared with the congregation that he will become our rabbi emeritus at the end of June 2018. The congregational meeting will be the first time where our rabbinic transition will be discussed in a public forum.

I am hoping that this year the congregational meeting will start promptly. That we will reach the magic number for a quorum maybe even before the 7:00 PM start time. In a typical year, for a community of more than 800 adults, I have often asked myself why only about 10% have attended?

Do just 10% have a stake in the synagogue’s future? I don’t think so. Is it just 10% who really care? Hardly.

For many of the reasons I cited above, lots of people have work and personal commitments that make scheduling a challenge at this time of year. People haven’t gone to the annual meeting in the past so it hasn’t been a part of their spring routine. Maybe we need to tell the story better of the annual meeting and what is discussed on the synagogue’s website and Facebook page. And a few pictures of happy faces couldn’t hurt, either.

The week of Memorial Day I hope to share an update. Stay tuned.

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