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From the President

  It's August. It's Hot. Sisterhood has finished their garage sale and the Herculean efforts it take to make it successful. Katy is back in town and planning for the state of religious school. As always, our little shul is busy! With that I want to share some thoughts with you about our future.

Since the congregation meeting, I have received feedback from some of you that the messages and information about the financial status of the synagogue over the past couple of months have been distressing. I have also had questions asking if CSH will be viable in three years.

With this month's column, I want to put the Congregation's status and future into perspective. I am a strong believer in transparency, even when the news isn't pleasant. Of course, a risk we take in being transparent is that some of our members will take the information and hear only the negative or worst-case scenario. My hope, however, is that as informed members, you will listen carefully to the facts and see this as a call to action. To do more than just pay your financial commitment, but to stay active members and continue to participate in our congregation activities. As such, we still are very much in control of our destiny as a congregation. Armed with the facts, we know that we must act, try things differently to attract new members and retain our current members.

One example of trying things differently is the "For Lease" sign on the street in front of the synagogue. In the past weeks, we have started negotiations with a potential tenant who already operates daycare centers in churches in the area. The potential lease of the space during the week to operate a daycare center has the potential to provide more than $25,000 of income. This is an exciting opportunity and a great example of doing things differently. While we are still in negotiations, but the conversation and the potential are promising.

But we are doing more than just working on our financial challenges. This August 25th, membership is sponsoring an Open House to increase awareness and hopefully attract more members. And, we are talking to our friends at Temple Beth Tikvah about working together, because they too have challenges.

I wish I could tell you that we will have immediate results, but like any challenging endeavor, it will take time and effort to be successful. Only one thing will surely defeat these efforts, and that is despair. If we despair, we give up, we decide that our fate is already decided, then surely, we will not succeed. In the past couple of months, I have been buoyed by the potential of CSH. From Weddings to Bar Mitzvahs, new members joining, to new volunteers stepping up, we have enormous possibilities, if we continue to believe that sustaining a synagogue in Clear Lake is worth the effort. I think it is. I know the members of the board think so too.

Lastly, while it is difficult to ask everyone to dig into their pocketbook to support the synagogue, I want to re-affirm that we will not turn away our fellow Jews due to financial difficulty. We only ask that you call the President or the Financial Secretary and have a short discussion with us, so we can plan. I hope you will appreciate that without firm financial commitments from our members, it is impossible to plan our future. We aren't asking for a long drawn affair, just a simple, straight-up conversation between caring adults. We care that you are a member, you care about being a member, and together we need to make an accommodation that serves the needs of the individual members and the community at large.

Let me know what you think! Reach out to me. Thank you for reading this message. Thank you for being a member.

David Hirsch

August 2019

Mon, August 19 2019 18 Av 5779