Shabbat Greetings from Stuart Skolnick – February 15

Stuart Skolnick

Last week and yesterday I had the opportunity to meet and have discussions with my colleagues.  Last week’s meeting involved my local colleagues from Westchester, yesterday’s from New Jersey. I am blessed to have the best group of colleagues in the world and I’d like to tell you why. As a group they came from all walks of life to take on the management of their respective Temples and synagogues. Until recently, there were no training programs to prepare people for synagogue management so almost everyone arrives with a background from a different industry-both profit and non-profit, large multi-nationals, mom and pops.  That variety already provides a vast array of experience at the table. Although each one of us becomes ensconced in the life and culture of our particular institution, we have common denominators. We all work with lay-led boards, volunteers, our clergy, and the other professionals on staff. There are many personal and professional relationships to cultivate and manage. And since each of us works within these parameters every day we are the only ones who know the ins and outs of being the administrator for that unique collection of people known as a congregation. And, now for the best part, we all share what we know and experience with each other. Since we are not really in competition there is no harm in cooperating with each other. Although I met my local colleagues for the first time last week I was already part of the group the minute that I indicated my affiliation with Temple Beth Abraham. Having this vast knowledge base stretching across the country to tap at any time is one of the most rewarding parts of doing this work and benefits the Temple as well. On behalf of all of my colleagues, I wish all of you a Shabbat Shalom!

Author: Melissa