My dear TRT family,
In my first article for our TRT Newsletter, I shared that I hesitated before I took on the role of President of TRT. I am sure that each past president has had his or her own share of soul searching before they said “yes!”
Now, let me share what this “yes” has meant to me.
After close to two years of constantly being in both strategic and operational mode with our dedicated Board of Directors, I have learned that TRT spirit is something to be proud of. The talents and skills of many of our members kept us connected with joy and warmth regardless of the building status or location of services. From financial know-hows to artistic creativity, all volunteers brought their heart and soul to benefit our community. And yet, each letter of membership resignation I received has been heart-wrenching. Can’t they see that? Can’t they be proud of belonging to this extraordinary community? I have been part of a few congregations in my life; however, I cannot ignore how special TRT is to me.
For so many months we longed to be physically together. Now that vaccinations are on the rise and federal and state rules allow for safer congregating, we are starting to come back slowly to the building; we wish we could wave a magic wand to allow us to stay there to be what we once were. But reality is different. And this time, we come back to have one more touch, one more memory, and say goodbye in our own personal way to our house of worship as we close this rich chapter.
And now we will be moving on. Although our next chapter will not be at 15 Mohawk Drive, no one can take away the warm memories our families formed in our building. The experiences our children had growing up at TRT religious school helped to shape who they are today. As we move forward, we’ll bring with us not only our sacred items but also our spirit of Tikkun Olam and our sense of community.
Thank you for your vote of confidence in our recommended decision and your faith that our leadership is pure of heart and intentions. Our integration and leadership teams are working hard at negotiating the Term Sheet and identifying the programming and funding that will ensure that our TRT legacy will continue as we integrate with Temple Shaari Emeth. We truly believe this path will lead us to a stronger Jewish presence in Monmouth County and New Jersey for many generations to come.
I hope you will take an active part in integrating who we are into our next spiritual home at Shaari Emeth. TSE is looking forward to embracing all of us, creating new connections of friendship, and building an enthusiastic Jewish community through active volunteering, musical worship, acts of kindness and lifelong learning.
Although it has been a difficult journey, I am honored to serve as your President. I am proud of all the work we have accomplished together to ensure Jewish continuity.
I am looking forward to this new chapter.
Tmima Grinvald, Temple President