“For everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under Heaven. (Ecclesiastes 3:1)”

My name is Shoshana Jackson. I am new to the Board as of this summer. Our family has been a member of Ahavas Israel since moving to the Grand Rapids area in 2015. I have been teaching 5th/6th grade Hebrew for United Jewish School since that time. With my husband Ben, who is an examiner for the NCUA, we have four children. The two of us love language and have formally studied nearly ten languages between us! If you count the languages of music and mathematics, we have even more! In this harvest time of year, we are often moved to give thanks: both Sukkot, which we celebrated last month, and Thanksgiving, which is coming up presently, provide excellent occasions for counting our blessings. This has been a season of hardship for our family, in which it seemed like everything that could go wrong did: both cars in the shop, a roof leak, two different appliances giving up the ghost, and a foundation issue. But thanks to my mate’s insistence on thoughtful planning, we have been able to weather the storms with only moderate inconvenience. I am thankful for his fluency in money matters; it complements my literacy in matters of running a home. Proverbs 21:5 says “The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.” As the new chair for the Strategic Planning Committee, it is my fervent hope that we can plan diligently for the long-term health and development of Congregation Ahavas Israel. It’s often easy to see what we need in the short-term (new entry doors, updated lighting) but it’s sometimes more difficult to make these decisions with an eye for long-term goals. Not all of these goals are neatly categorized, so I urge you to consider joining me on this committee! Bring the language you best understand, be it financial, social, cultural, procedural, architectural, spiritual, or ephemeral; I want to hear your thoughts! “Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed (Proverbs 15:22).” I am thankful for this opportunity and for your counsel.

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