Co-Presidents Message



Each of our lives is complicated. Our days are filled with obligations, details, annoyances, and silly things that happen. We complain about them. We say that we wish life was easier. Some of the us look back and think that times were simpler and more meaningful for us. Little things get us down.

What I know is true is that our connections to individuals in our families, or in the families that we have created for ourselves is what is going to carry us through. We watch the horror in Israel, we watch the horror in Lewiston, Maine, we watch the horror in the Ukraine. What I do know without certainty is that no matter where in the world we are, incidents are taking place. There are people of all ages, of all ethnicities, who are someone’s loved ones who are being touched by tragedy. They are mothers and fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers, and children. We may not know them personally, but they are cherished by their families.


How important is it for us to appreciate the beautiful things that we have in our lives each day? When we call a young man or woman to the Torah, we watch the generations passing down the legacy of our lives. We can be there to celebrate. When we light the candles on the Chanukah menorah, we can be there to celebrate. When tragedy strikes we can be there, knowing that in the future we will once again celebrate. We have to live every one of our days celebrating the lives we are so lucky to have – and often take for granted.


We are here for each of you at Temple Israel. We call you our “Temple family”. Let’s dedicate ourselves to appreciating the people around us and supporting them. We think it is worth the effort. You never know what tomorrow will bring!


Bryn Biren & Felicia Otto