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January/February Update

Dear Friends,
 
I hope you had time over the holidays to reconnect with family and friends and to reflect upon what opportunities the coming year may hold.
 
Here at KBI, we are so excited by all the meaningful programming and activities that have been taking place and our clergy and staff members are working hard to continue to build on our successes. Torah study, Choir, Caring for the Caregiver, Bereavement Support, Mah-jong and Bridge and are just a few examples. Our minyan app was recently launched to assist with ensuring there are daily minyans, especially as so many of our congregants are away for the winter months. As always, we try to be as responsive as possible to our membership so please keep your great ideas coming.
 
The Board itself has set some ambitious priorities for the coming year, which I would like to share with you. These are:
 
1) Fund Development to ensure the continued financial viability of our synagogue including Annual Giving, Building our Future Campaign, Legacy Giving and the establishment of an Endowment.
 
2) Emergency Preparedness planning with an emphasis on lockdown and fire plans and the implementation of a Greeter Program.
 
3) Enhancing Communication by improving the publicizing of events and integrating our website and Shulcloud.
 
4) Leadership Development with the creation of an Emerging Leaders program and yearlong attention to future leadership.
 
5) Strategic Planning, which encompasses a financial plan and programmatic priorities.
 
Through all this, we will continue to work diligently on our Congregational culture and Member engagement. We hope to encourage more volunteerism and continue to enhance our relationship between our Kehillah and the larger community.
 
There have been many times during services and haggim, where Rabbi Kenter and I have commented that we wished we could take a photo. I love seeing multi-generations of families opening the ark or even sitting together in shul. I am so happy that we truly are a "child-friendly" congregation, where the children feel comfortable enough to join on the bimah at the close of services or come up with their parents or grandparents during aliyot. I kvell, along with their families, when our youth so capably lead parts of our service.   The next generations are definitely our strength and our emphasis on programming for them is crucial.  For this reason, to ensure the continued viability of our Kehillah, we are embarking on a Legacy Will and Bequest campaign, which we will be rolling out in the near future.
 
Finally, I would like to close with a brief discussion of smoking and cannabis. On October 17, 2018, the Cannabis Act came into force in Canada, legalizing recreational cannabis. The KBI Board feels that this topic is aptly covered by the federal and provincial laws, of which we must abide and therefore no further policy is required at this stage. To clarify, smoking or vaping anything is not permitted in synagogue nor within 9 metres of our entrances. The use of medical cannabis is subject to different rules than recreational cannabis however, the smoking and vaping ban within synagogue and within 9 metres still applies.  
 
 
 
Respectfully submitted
Helen Zipes
President, KBI
Sun, 9 August 2020 19 Av 5780