The mission of Temple Etz Chaim Men’s Club is to engage men in Jewish life by rooting them in our temple community and creating an environment of fellowship and belonging. These carefully chosen words summarize what Men’s Club is about, but as Men’s Club president I’d like to clarify what they mean. First, we are open to all temple members, including Jews by birth or choice, and non-Jewish members who are curious about temple life and interested in becoming a part of us. In addition, we are also open to members of the community who may be interested in Jewish Fellowship, but not quite ready to join our Temple Family.
Next, note the phrase “rooting in our temple community.” We strive to make our members feel that they are part of something valuable and important, and to care about what happens to our temple. Men’s Club is not organizationally separate from Temple Etz Chaim; it is part of the synagogue and committed to its well-being and future. Our brunches are open to the entire temple. Our Sukkah building is a service we provide to TEC as a whole. We look for ways to partner with Women of TEC and to provide service to the pre-school and religious school. We usher at Shabbat and High Holiday services and sponsor a Scholar in Residence weekend, benefiting the entire congregation. Finally, Men’s Club is an opportunity to form friendships and make its members feel a sense of belonging. This is likely our most important goal, as it forms the foundation for everything else.
Our general membership meetings are held on the 2nd Wednesday of each month at 8:00 p.m., usually in the adult lounge. This year, we are implementing a wide range of new and innovative programs based upon a many initiatives developed by the Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs. Some of these involve discussion groups for men, others involve activities geared at improving men’s health, while still others are social in nature including scotch tastings, wine tastings, and poker nights. In addition to these monthly meetings, we sponsor a variety of social events and contribute to religious services and other temple functions.
There are so many demands on everyone’s time. Men’s Club is a priority for me because of the friends I have made, the community it provides, and the chance to contribute to our temple. But these opportunities are available to everyone. There are different ways to get involved, some needing more time than others, some asking you to be in a certain place at a certain time and others not. There is definitely a place for you.
Please watch for publicity regarding our events in the temple bulletin, Men’s Club broadcast emails, and e-vites. In this electronic age, it is vitally important that we have your e-mail address on file; if you are unsure, please contact our membership chair, Marc Cohn by email at [email protected]. The Men’s Club board is interested in ensuring that we meet our members’ needs. Please feel free to contact me or any of the other fine gentlemen wearing the Men’s Club red kippot if you have a question or concern. Thank you for reading this and I hope to see you at Men’s Club.
Shanah Tovah Umetokah,
TEC Men’s Club President