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Benjamin Topor

There’s a lot to be said for experience.

I’m now well into my first year as President of the Shaare Zedek, but I feel as if I’m just getting my “footing”. Having been CEO of my own company for more than 40 years, I thought I’d have a pretty good base of experience and knowledge that I could draw on to help me navigate the ins and outs of this new undertaking. Wow, was I ever wrong!

I’ve quickly realized that I need a completely different mindset to succeed in my new role. Unlike a privately held company where the partners can decide to “invest” and accept losses for long-term returns, as a not-for-profit this is not an option. Fortunately, with the help and direction of our Finance Chairman, Mac Brotman, and his dedicated committee we’ve been able to project a break-even budget and we have actually delivered surpluses.

That being said, I am working to be very disciplined in constraining myself from making investments for the synagogue which have large potential for the future (personnel, equipment, programming), but must be prudently phased-in so as to not jeopardize the short-term financial health of the congregation.

What differs in a wonderful way from being in business is the incredible depth of human resource talent and experience available within our synagogue community. I’ve to clearly seen that tapping this talent is my biggest challenge AND opportunity in that the returns can be extraordinary!

We have members who are marketers, IT specialists, doctors, nurses, lawyers, accountants, entrepreneurs, and people with many other talents. Aside from relying on our wonderful staff, we need you to join us and contribute your passion and expertise. Together we can accomplish great things. You can make a real difference, and also have some fun and experience special gratification. I implore you to get involved, so please reach out to me by email, phone, text, or by approaching me (the old-fashioned way) in synagogue.

I have been blessed with a fantastic hard-working group of board members, but several are ending their terms and need to be replaced. Please reach out to me and we can discuss what’s involved in being a board member. I’ll mention again that we’re a group with many different interests and talents-- the perfect recipe to succeed!

In closing, on behalf of the Board of Directors, my family, and myself, I wish you all a joyful Passover, Chag Sameach, good health, happiness, peace, and success in all that you do.

Benjamin Topor

Tue, 28 September 2021 22 Tishrei 5782