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Message from the president

06/14/2020 06:00:00 AM


Carol Sikov Gross

This is my first blog as President, and I am excited to share some updates with you.

There has been a lot going on with Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha building:

  • The clean-up and archiving of items and materials in the building is continuing. Opportunities for you to help will be announced soon.

  • We will be arranging visits to the building for those who would like to go in; these will be scheduled and accompanied by a shul officer. Sign up information will be available soon.

  • We have hired a Capital Campaign Consultant to help us plan and implement a major fundraising campaign to support the future of the building and the congregation as the Shady and Wilkins Collaborative.

  • We are finalizing the hiring of a Programming Services Manager who will help us pull together and determine what will be needed in a renovated building.

  • We continue to speak with possible tenants and stakeholders  who will join us at the corner of Wilkins and Shady.  

  • Later this year, we will proceed with selecting an architect to work on the building.

Our budget is tight and we will need to work hard to avoid a deficit this year. (Your timely dues payments and additional contributions help a lot!) Barb Feige, our Executive Director, obtained funds on behalf of the shul under the Federal CARES Act Payroll Protection Program to help us keep Augie and Dan, as well as the rest of our staff, employed through this pandemic shutdown. Along with past president Suzanne Schreiber, she has also completed a lot of complex paperwork regarding the Antiterrorism and Emergency Assistance Program grant.  The funds from this grant will be instrumental in meeting some of Tree of Life’s daily expenses.  

As you know, the building at Rodef Shalom has been closed since mid-March due to Covid19.   We need to coordinate with Rodef Shalom to see when we will be able to return to their building.  As  a result, the Board of Trustees, your officers and the Past Presidents will continue working over the summer on plans for weekly services and High Holidays services as well as the building project. Updates about services will be provided regularly.  We would love to hold services in person but want to do it safely.  For now, enjoy our services on Facebook and Zoom.   

In addition, the Vice Presidents and I are restructuring and reviving committees; we will soon be reaching out with opportunities for membership involvement and leadership.  

I hope to be writing to you frequently with news and updates. If you have any questions, concerns, ideas or just want to talk, please reach out via email at

Stay safe and healthy.

Carol Sikov Gross

Sun, July 12 2020 20 Tammuz 5780