The Prez Sez

December 2020

To all Congregants and Friends of Temple Sinai of Lake Charles:

As we bring 2020 to a close, I hope this finds you, your family and friends well and healthy.  There is no doubt that we all are still dealing with 2020 in some real way.  Please just continue to know that I believe we will come out on the bright side and I look forward to some great times in the coming year with all of you.

The Temple rebuild continues to be very slow as we determine the proper course of action with our insurance company.  As of this writing, Guide One, our temple insurance company, has only provided a very small sum of money which allowed us to reroof the entire property that was damaged.  We have secured and protected our property.   Now we wait until we can come to a conclusion with Guide One.  As many of you know, we are not alone in frustration of non-performing insurance companies.  No doubt we should all be concerned for those that have to deal with this level of frustration involving their homes.

Rabbi, Linda and Amy’s home is being worked on now and they will be able to move in by the end of January.  Again, I repeat that they will offer so much support and wisdom to our spiritual community of SWLA.  I know they are excited along with all of us.

We have lost friends and members of the Jewish community of SWLA recently with many more recovering from different types of illnesses. We hold each of them in our every prayer. The sad part is the loss, yet the bright side is the opportunity, to offer these families and friends support and friendship.  We welcome all to reach out to Rabbi or myself for any needs that we can provide from our Temple membership.

With this in mind and so many generous gifts for our efforts to rebuild, Temple Sinai’s Board has voted to create a “dedicated fund” for Tzedakah, thereby making a tikkun olam difference! This will provide a new fund (Tikkun Olam) for all to make contributions to, so that we as Temple Sinai can offer the same type of support that so many have provided us.  Please consider giving to the Tikkun Olam Fund as we grow it to be ready, when needed, to make financial gifts to those in need.

In closing I give credit to Temple Emanuel’s Social Justice Committee for this following passage.  I found it to be so true and timely.

“Taking care of oneself all the time and even more so during the Covid-19 Pandemic is not only important, it is the mitzvah of shmirat haguf. We are created in the image of God. The body is a divine gift, so it is our individual responsibility to “take heed to thyself and take care of your lives” (Deuteronomy 4:9) and to “be extremely protective of your lives.” (Deuteronomy 4:15) In so doing the mitzvah of shmirat haguf, you will be making a tikkun olam difference for yourself, for your family, for your congregational “family”, and for your friends!”

Stay positive, stay focused on your needs and please communicate if you need to talk.  We are a community, not individuals alone.

Shalom,

Joel Davidson, President

337-529-6710

 

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October 28, 2020

To all Congregants and Friends of Temple Sinai of Lake Charles:

I hope this finds you well and, in the spirit of 2020, the best you can be!  The Board and I want to know how you are doing?  The most important task for all of us to do is take care of yourself and make sure everyone is safe and on the road to recovery.  If you need to talk or ask any questions, please reach out to me or Rabbi Barry.  We will do our best to help.  There is support from many concerned generous organizations and individuals available for your needs.  Sandy and Michael have been invaluable in documenting the donations, sending out thank you cards and working with me.

With that said, let me share with you some updates.  The Temple Property did sustain significant damage from both Hurricanes.  We lost all of the shingles over the religious wing along with the social hall and on the eastern side of the sanctuary.  A tree fell on the kitchen area and caused some damage to the roof and ceiling.  All this casued water infiltration, mainly into the library area.  We also had some minor water on the Bema yet spared the ark.  If not enough, the winds of both storms have shown some deferred maintenance with the mortar and bricks on our beautiful sanctuary.  They will need to be re-pointed and tucked along with a sealer apply to the exterior.  Lastly our landscaping has been totally destroyed and will require much work.

We hired a mitigation company immediately to stop any further damage and to remove all wet materials.  At this time, we have the Temple secured and dry.  I am working closely with the insurance company to determine the amount of money they will provide for us to begin the work required to reopen the Temple.  Not an easy challenge as I know all of you can appreciate on a personal level.  At this time, I can’t say with any confidence when we will have all the repairs done.  I promise to keep you updated and you may call me anytime to get an update.

Rabbi, Linda and Amy have been living in Baton Rouge and traveling to Lake Charles often to help support and also check on their recently purchased home.  We have it secured and dry also.  It will take some time to have it repaired and move in ready.  This is a priority as as we all want them to join our community as we need them here to support the rebuilding of our community.  They will offer so much support and wisdom to our spiritual community of SWLA.

The Jewish cemetery sustained minor damage and with the continued leadership from Jody, we have someone truly watching over our many loved ones who lie at rest.  We cherish and love each and every one of them.  Jody’s dedication to our cemetery is so deeply appreciated.

I am honored and humbled to be the President of Temple Sinai in 2020.  Taking over from Randy as made my job so much easier.  His wisdom along with the board’s commitments to our needs is what our Jewish community always will require in the future.  These events only reaffirm my dedication to our Temple and the entire Jewish community of our region.  Our region, Southwest Louisiana, needs our faith and involvement. We will come out of this stronger and better.  My daily work and involvement in our community reaffirms my beliefs that we will all be very proud of where we call home.  It will take time as this is not a sprint, it is a marathon, yet we will see a beautiful community arise again.  I have no doubt!

Stay positive, stay focused on your needs and please communicate if you need to talk.  We are a community, not individuals alone.

Shalom,

Joel Davidson, President

337-529-6710