Friday, October 10, 2014

Presiding for the Congregation Continued

So, I've been meaning to make a note of this here on my official blog of record, and it's time that I do. As you may recall, if you've been following my activities very closely (ha ha), back in 2012 I was elected as president of Congregation Adas Emuno, a small temple following the tradition of Reform Judaism, located in Leonia, New Jersey. If you somehow missed it, you can read the entry I posted about it back then: Presiding for the Congregation.

So, anyway, my two-year term ended as of July 1st of this year, but back in May I was elected to a second term as president. I want to be clear that this was in no way a function of personal ambition, but rather was due to the fact that there wasn't anyone else willing and able to step in, and because I have not done a completely horrendous job at it, I was asked to continue on in that role.

And I realize that another thing I neglected to share on this blog was the new logo we developed for our congregation. I know you may be saying, logo???? Isn't that a bit too profane and commercial? And what about that thing in the Ten Commandments about graven images? 

Well, you see, what we have been using previously was some fairly generic kinds of symbols and clip art. So, I wanted something distinctive to represent our congregation as letterhead, on flyers, and online. And one of the special things we do is during Sabbath services, when we include a prayer for healing, on behalf of those who are physically, psychologically, or spiritually ill.  And unless there are too many people in attendance, we all hold hands and form a circle to sing the version of the Mi Sheberach prayer composed by the late Debbie Friedman. It's a beautiful song, so let me share that as well:

So, I had this idea about a logo that connected the six-pointed Star of David with six people holding hands, forming a circle (as I recall, Carl Jung identified the Star of David as a variation on the mandala archetype, which usually takes the form of a circle, and denotes wholeness and community). Not being an artist myself, I couldn't quite visualize it, and could only provide a vague, verbal description to one of our board members, Lauren Rowland, a gifted artist and graphic designer, who came up with this image:

Here's another version:

And there are more variations, but you get the idea. I really love it, because it so well captures what our congregation is all about. So, anyway, this was adopted early in my first term, and then came Hurricane Sandy that October, and fortunately our buildings were spared, the only major damage being to the sign outside of our temple:

Far from being a tragedy, the sign was old, unattractive, not in great shape, and in a style that was no longer current, so we were in fact talking about replacing it anyway, which we did early in 2013, and I was so pleased that our new sign was able to incorporate our new logo:

See it up there in the upper left hand corner? 

So, anyway, I don't mean to imply that this is all that went on over the past 2 1/4 years, but this seemed like one item that would be particularly appropriate, being about communication and all. And if you want to know more about my role and about our temple, you can check out our congregational blog (which I set up, as mentioned in my previous post, Adas Emuno Now Blogging, and has so far has been mostly maintained by me), and our website, which we are in the process of updating).

And with that, let me take this opportunity to say, Happy New Year—5775, where does the time go? Me, I'm feeling kinda nostalgic for the 5750s...

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