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From Our President, December 24, 2021

12/22/2021 10:24:53 AM


Michelle Bannon

This week, my final 2021 Board meeting as President took place. The incoming Board Members were welcomed in anticipation of assuming their new roles on January 1st. Amy DeLoach will serve as President, Nancy Kraselsky as Secretary, and Billy Hirschen as a member of the Board. As congregants, you can rest assured that Bnai Israel has strong and capable leadership in place. Your Officers and Board members have years of experience in business, education, finance, and in many capacities in the synagogue.

Although COVID has made 2021 (and most of 2020) challenging, we have continued to be an active congregation with well-attended services (online and in-person) and numerous programs for members of all ages. We continue to make great strides as a congregation: Rabbi Bender’s contract was extended to June 30, 2023. Our financial status is stable thanks to our Finance Committee and the generosity of our congregants. The renovation of our beautiful sanctuary is complete, and we look forward to its rededication and the official installation of Rabbi Bender on the weekend of June 10th. (Save the Date! More information to come soon!)

We have new Siddurs and High Holiday books, a growing religious school, and numerous activities and programs. These include Neighbors in Conversation, Lunch & Learn, Tot Shabbat, Sunshine Meals, Bnai Baggers, Cooking at Good Shepherd, the Sisterhood Book Club, A Safe Place, and the Men’s Club. The Open Door Committee is developing materials and programs to ensure that we as a congregation are as inclusive as possible. The Membership Committee does an excellent job of providing information about BIC and Wilmington to potential members. Our newsletter and website are constantly reviewed and modified to improve communication with our members. Our Capital Campaign was a great success, allowing us to add some finishing touches to our new sanctuary and maintain the upkeep of our building. Thanks to our Homeland Security grant, new security doors were installed on Chestnut Street and at the entrance near the kitchen. Our House committee is always busy, as our building needs constant monitoring, repairs, and upkeep, as any homeowner knows. Our cemetery is also undergoing changes. Fluctuations in climate have resulted in the need for more drought-resistant plants and the use of alternative materials.

Most importantly, we have a congregation whose members are involved and care about each other, a strength of which we should all be proud. Although COVID persists, we will continue to be a dynamic presence in the Wilmington Jewish community, modifying our activities as needed.

Thank you for the privilege of serving as your President for the last two years. Although the responsibilities have seemed overwhelming at times and required long hours and some tough conversations, the rewards have been greater than I ever expected. 

It has been a privilege to work with others who are so dedicated to this congregation. I hand over the reins to my successor, secure in the belief that Bnai Israel will celebrate many more Centennials to come.

Shabbat Shalom and Stay Safe,


Tue, June 18 2024 12 Sivan 5784