Over the last couple of years we have struggled with our financial future and slow decline in membership. I am optimistic of a promising future for our synagogue. I recently read about of one of the first Reform synagogues in the United States - Congregation Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim in Charleston (1750). In 1904 Beth Elohim was founded in Georgetown, S.C., and named after Beth Elohim in Charleston. Beth Elohim started much as we did with a part-time rabbi and student rabbis. Over the years the membership dwindled to five people. In anticipation of its closure one of the two torah scrolls were sold. Through a rededication of its leaders the congregation grew and survives today as a viable synagogue.
Perhaps a name like Beth Elohim would fit us. I would like to know more about the history of how we decided on NJC - I suspect it just fit at the time - but does it fit today? I believe that we need to establish our identity for now and for the future. For those who have a difficult time in breaking away from NJC as a name, perhaps we can have a Hebrew name associated with NJC. For example, Beth Elohim,The Northshore Jewish Congregation. Our letterhead would read:
The Northshore Jewish Congregation