As I write my first President’s Message, I’d like to thank you, my Beth El and spiritual family, for the opportunity to serve as our Shul’s President. It is truly both a privilege and an honor to stand in a long line of successful and productive presidents. I’d also like to personally thank Lauren Soll for serving as President for the past two years. Lauren has devoted so much of her time and effort to make Beth El a one-of-a-kind synagogue and left a clear path for me to follow, although it will be very difficult to fill her shoes. Thank you Lauren for all that you have done, you were a wonderful President and you should be extremely proud of yourself!

My family has been members of Beth El for the past 70 years. From my Grandfather, who attended services regularly, to my mother, who was a student in our Religious School. My parents raised my brothers and me at Beth El and in a conservative Jewish household, and now Susan and I have done the same with our family. We have shared many life-cycle events with Beth El and our community. I can honestly say, with pride, when it comes to our Jewish life and learning, L’dor v’dor.

I have personally been actively involved with Beth El for over 20 years. From a board member and then President of Young Associates (now our Young Families Group), to the many committees, programs and events, then onto the Board of Trustees, Executive Committee and now this wonderful opportunity. I can promise you that I will serve as President to the best of my ability.
In my experience, to be a successful leader you need to have a strong team. We have that team, and I look forward to working with Karen Schlessel, Josh Brodkin, Adam Sackstein, Tami Bogutz Steinberg, Stuart Sauer, Cathy Backal, Karin Elkis, Faye Shapiro, Ben Levin and Jason Whitney as my Executive Committee. With this team, along with my relationship with our Board of Trustees (including many Past Presidents), our All-Star Clergy and our office staff led by our Executive Director, Josh Laster, I am confident Beth El will continue to have a bright future. All that being said, our Shul truly runs on the input, experience, support, and activity of our Congregation. You make Beth El happen and I invite everyone to reach out and get involved at your own personal level. You will definitely be rewarded!

May and June are extremely exciting months at Beth El. We have many graduations to celebrate along with confirmation, concerts, a blood-drive, BBQs, USY Dinner, last days of school and first days of ECC Camp. All of this surrounding our Beloved Hazzan Pomerantz-Boro being installed as the International President of the Cantors Assembly. If you haven’t heard by now, we are having what is sure to be a memorable celebration to honor Hazzan, the Every Voice Gala Concert. What a night that will be! Hope to see you there.

As you can see, there is something for everyone. Please check our website or calendar for specific dates and times of each program.

I also want to thank my family in advance for what lies ahead over the next couple of years. Thank you to my beautiful wife, Susan, and our two wonderful children, Daniel and Amy.

You do not belong to Beth El, Beth El belongs to you.

~ David Backal