President's Message
by Stephen Klee

At the annual meeting on June 29th, after the Rabbi delivered his usual beautiful and inspiring words, I rambled on and on in front of those who attended reviewing our year, thanking people, looking ahead at the next six months, electing a new board, and announcing our volunteer of the year.  I won’t recount all the details of the meeting, but knowing how all our busy summer schedules kept many people from attending, I would like to bring to the attention of everyone the Five Directives that I laid out for the Board when I began my term as president one year ago:

  1. Grow the Membership
    Membership MinionsNothing impacts the future of our little congregation quite as significantly as allowing it to evolve into not such a little congregation. Thanks to Don Pozin and all his Membership Minions (most of us here at GLT included), our membership grew this past year by 31 families.  This is a growth number unlike any we have ever experienced in our shul’s history.  And while we added members in 11 of the past 12 months, the next 60 days are critical for our continued success story.  Please attend the upcoming events as this is a time of year where people will be visiting GLT with the possibility of making this the new synagogue for their family.  And meeting you just might be the difference needed to help them make the right decision to join us.  And if you can please pause at the end of this article to write down the name of a family/friend that you wish would join Gesher, we can have another amazing year of growth.
  2. Work To Improve Our Financial Stability
    We approved a balanced budget for the coming year.  Last year we projected a $79,000 loss, but ended the year with a profit.  Growing membership, generous contributions, increasing enrollment, and favorable financing have all had a positive impact on our last 12 months.  I expect the same in the coming year.  Our 5-year loan will expire this fiscal year, but our relationship with the Bank of North Georgia is excellent, and we will soon complete negotiations on renewing our financing with them.  Nothing will have more impact on getting through that process than timely payments of our invoices by all of us.  Note to Pam Klee….send in a payment to GLT for our Dues & Campaign Pledges ASAP.  And for those of you who can afford to send in extra, it does not go unnoticed and makes a huge difference.
  3. Eliminate Committee Work at Board Meetings
    As those who have served on the Board in the past can attest, it is very rewarding work.  But it’s not easy.  What has made it hard is when the VPs and other Board members feel like they have to manage their responsibilities without much support.  Many of you are serving on committees now, some with more regular reliability than others.  We have concentrated on building and relying upon strong committees, and the better we get in this regard, the less operational details we have to discuss at monthly Board meetings.  And this is not only freeing us up to have shorter meetings, but also enables us to think more strategically to build a better synagogue and community for all of our families in the years to come.  But we need more volunteers.  If you can lend a hand to a committee, please email me at
  4. Think Outside the Box
    I want our Board continuing to think of new and better ways to improve programming, connect with congregants, and stronger engagement and participation.  For those who were paying attention this past year, we had a lot of new and fresh ideas.  If you have further interesting ideas that you would like to offer for consideration, please email me.  Whether inside the box or outside the box, may we never struggle to form a minyan.
  5. Know the Calendar
    I have stressed to our Board the importance of knowing about the upcoming events and meetings that we should be attending.  While work and family conflicts don’t always allow us to be in attendance, we are trying to lead by example.  And because our Board is working to Know the Calendar, I’d like to also remind everyone else to do the same.  Check out the calendar here.

I am very excited to welcome Stacey Chandler, Ami Ashuri, Wendi Goldberg, Hal Shmerer, and Michelle Penn to the Board this year as we work to continue concentrating on these Directives and More.  These are volunteers that are stepping up in a BIG way.

So, who is the family that you want to join GLT?  And which of these events will you be inviting them to come enjoy with us?  Make it happen….right now.  Or, at least reach out and become one of Don’s Membership Minions by emailing  See you all soon!

© Congregation Gesher L'Torah | Alpharetta, GA.
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