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April 7, 2020 - Last Ambassadors' Report

04/09/2020 01:08:42 PM


April 7, 2020


From: Scott Arden, President Temple Emanu-El and Elaine Jones, President Congregation Or Chadash

To:  Congregation Or Chadash and Temple Emanu-El congregants

 We’d like to wish everyone a Happy Passover. We hope you’ll celebrate Pesach in some fashion, with its messages of gratitude and hope for the future.

  In this last Ambassadors’ report, we’re bringing you news about Religious Schools, High Holidays and a consultant. We’ll also explain plans for a transition to our Executive Committees as liaisons and for guidance as we move forward.

  1. Combining Religious Schools: We are moving forward with plans to combine the Or Chadash and Temple Emanu-El religious schools as of Fall, 2020. This is related, but not dependent on the results of a later vote in fall on the plan of merger. Directors of both religious schools addressed both boards in February. Subsequently, recommendations from a renewed Religious School Task Force were approved in March by both the Or Chadash and Temple Boards of Directors. 


  1. High Holidays: Rabbi Louchheim and Rabbi Appel talked with one another and consulted the Ritual Committees, coming to agreement to hold high holidays for both congregations at Temple Emanu-El in fall, 2020. Both Boards of Directors are supportive of this decision. This will give us a wonderful opportunity for our congregants to become better acquainted ahead of voting about a plan of merger in the fall. Services will be conducted by Rabbi Louchheim, Cantor Cohen, Rabbi Scott Saulson (who will be the interim Rabbi for Temple Emanu-El) and Cantorial Soloist Marjorie Hochberg. The details of the services are still under discussion and will be presented to you when they’re ready.


  1. Merger Consultant: Both Boards of Directors approved the recommendation of the Ambassadors’ Search Committee, endorsed by the Executive Committees, to hire Rabbi David Wolfman as our consultant. He is well known for his work on “The Human Side of Change” and we are very much looking forward to his guidance. We’re applying for funding to support the associated costs.

Transition to Joint Executive Committees: The Ambassadors have served as a steering committee and as liaisons between Or Chadash and Temple Emanu-El Boards for almost a year.  We’ve accomplished a great deal, culminating with approval of an MOU and recommending a consultant.  It’s time to transition the liaison role to our Executive Committees so that they can formulate and recommend decisions to our boards moving forward.  Toward that goal, the Executive committees of both congregations will meet together (via Zoom) with Rabbi David Wolfman in April to plan our next steps. We’re looking forward to participation of many more congregants in the next months.

Mazel Tov!

Or Chadash Ambassadors: Elaine Jones, Gary Kippur, Dana Adler & Ben Vogel

Temple Ambassadors: Scott Arden, Mona Gibson, Steve Tofel, Joe Millstone & Brie Finegold

Sat, January 23 2021 10 Sh'vat 5781