October 2015

Adapted from Rosh Hashanah 2015 remarks.

For those of you that were here last year, you remember the description of our small but mighty community here at Beth Hillel. So what has this industrious group been up to over this past year? Well, for those that have ever paused to observe an ant hill and the seemingly limitless energy of the colony – lots has been going on.

Most noticeable is the Member Commitment process, where we have worked hard to transparently describe the costs required to operate this wonderful community and in turn focus the membership discussions on a sense of belonging and of our values. As we have moved forward with this strategy, members have told us through words and deeds that this approach is appreciated. If you have not made your commitment, it would be very meaningful to do so during this holiday season.

For those that may not know, Lois Bruno, our former office administrator, had made the decision to leave in pursuit of other opportunities. While we treasure her 10 years with us, we wish her well and want to welcome Patti Lollar to our community as our temple assistant. Please introduce yourself to her if you have not yet. Thank you to the many volunteers that have been giving time and energy to the office during this transition, and we appreciate your patience as we continue to work through this transition.

We are pleased that our Rabbi has agreed to a new 10 year contract with our congregation which will support our community to Dena’s retirement. It is a great commitment she has made to us, and also allows time to plan for the next phase of Beth Hillel’s future.

Some of you may know that on June 29, 1925 the articles of incorporation were filed for Beth Hillel Congregation. That means we are marking our 90th year in the community, which says a lot about the spirit and commitment of Jews in Southeastern Wisconsin and Northern Illinois. To have such an energetic community here is great and is a credit to everyone here.

These are also the first HHD services using our new prayer books. Generous donations from many temple members have made them possible, but we still need some sets to be sponsored. Please be generous and sponsor a set or two. $54 will support a set and is a great way to memorialize a life event or remember a loved one.

Thank you also for considering donations in honor of the High Holy Days which help make these wonderful services possible as well as the opportunity to bring in Orit Perlman from Israel.


The new year is a natural time to account for the past year. Change is always upon us, and we have made great strides this year. May we continue on this path and strengthen our community further this coming year.

L’shanah Tovah.

Vic Vercammen

February FOOD OF THE MONTH: Oatmeal

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