A Message From the President
I am proud to be taking on the role of president of the First Hebrew Congregation. This is truly an “awe-some” responsibility and I am humbled to follow in the footsteps of all our past presidents each of whom worked diligently for the needs of our community and left their own unique mark on it. I thank them all for the service they have given and the examples they have set.
What brought you to the First Hebrew Congregation community? Maybe you are here because your family has been here for generations; such a thing would not be unusual in a community which is over 120 years old. Maybe you came because you needed a community which would provide for the Jewish education of your children. Maybe you came because the circumstances of your life changed and you found a community which could meet your current needs.
How did your Jewish journey start? Did you grow up in an Orthodox community, either here as it was practiced initially in our community or elsewhere? Did you grow up as I did, in the Conservative movement, your whole life (certainly the movement itself has embraced changes since my childhood which were unimaginable when I was young)? Did you grow up in a more liberal branch of Judaism? Perhaps you even grew up in an altogether different faith (or no faith) and now support a spouse and family who are Jewish. Maybe you have become a Jew by choice. We are all Jews by choice in some sense and we are all part of this community by choice.
Certainly in this day and age, “do-it-yourself” Judaism is very easy. And for some things, this is really great- finding readings for ceremonies, for your Seder table when printed Haggadot do not suit, looking up things you if you prefer not to ask a rabbi (or that just strike you in the moment). However, it cannot replace a community. We are here for each other in times of personal celebration and in times of personal struggle and sadness. We are here for each other in times of communal joy and in times of communal crisis. We are here to support one another. Wherever we came from, whatever background we came with, our paths have converged here at First Hebrew. We share this kehilla kedosha, this sacred community. This is the strength of our community and the strength of our relationships with one another.
Rabbi Dana Z. Bogatz
Administrator, Lisa Gagliardi
Officers and Trustees 2018 – 2019
|Interim Vice President||Mark Stern|
|Recording Secretary||Phyllis Stern|
|Immediate Past President||Charles Newman|
|FHC Men’s Club||Masoud Radparvar, Steven Cohen|
|FHC Sisterhood||Fran Olmsted|