Temple Emanu-EI has always been my spiritual home – and I’m pleased that both Lacey and I have been very active in leadership on all levels. You could say that we come by our involvement quite naturally – my parents, who just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, were married here in the old chapel. And we can thank my dad for his vision as when he was vice president of the Brotherhood: he actually started the Hanukkah Lunch tradition.
Now that we have our precious daughter, Lillian, we have even greater hopes for Temple Emanu-El’s future. We are counting on our Temple to be the foundation of her Judaism. It is here that we want her to learn the culture and understand Jewish traditions, and it is here that we want her to feel her sense of community and make life-long friends. Hopefully, she will want to follow our footsteps and continue to be part of Temple leadership. I had so many enriching experiences growing up – we want the same for our daughter. We look forward to her having every opportunity possible to take from the Jewish culture and our faith in order to be a good person and successful in the world. Actually, it is our hope for this entire next generation to have the same opportunities, if not better, than our own. It is truly incumbent upon us – it is our responsibility – to make sure that this happens.
In that vein, our Endowment Fund has been incredible in helping to sustain and enrich our congregation. Both Lacey and I have been actively involved in financial leadership and seen firsthand what an important pillar of strength our endowment has been. We’ve seen how it has allowed us not only to survive, but to also benefit from so many extras. I wish everyone understood that we would be nowhere near the congregation that we are without our Grafman Endowment Fund.
I’m pleased that we’ve been participating in the Endowment’s Annual Gift program for the past 14 years. They make it so easy for every demographic to participate. We can see that little bits over time that add to a lot and due to its spending policy how the endowment keeps on giving year after year. You know, just about everyone saves money – and we look at this as making gifts to save our Temple’s future for our children. We wish everyone would realize that together we can all continue to help grow this important source of income because, quite honestly, the future is so important.