A Shanah Tovah to all. I hope that this High Holyday season has been as much of a spiritual inspiration to you as it has been for me.
For those who don’t already know me, I’m Alan Wartenberg. In July I took on the position of Director of Marketing and Development for the synagogue, and I wanted to introduce myself in that capacity and talk about what it means.
I have been a member of Agudas Achim for 28 years. Both of my daughters, Eve and Ruth, went to its Hebrew School and were Bat Mitvah’ed on its Bimah, with both me and my late wife Carol, of blessed memory, watching them with pride.
My first formal role for the synagogue was as a member of the Religious School committee; I was ultimately its co-chair, and then chair. As its chair I also served on the Board. After several years I became Vice President and then President of the synagogue in the mid-’90s. My term was rudely interrupted by cancer, with which I have been struggling for 21 years. On my current bout, it has been putting up quite a fight, but with great medical care and enormous support from family and friends (including this congregation), I seem to be winning this battle. The tremendous support of the members of Agudas Achim has helped sustain me though not only this battle, but for the seven years that my beloved Carol and I struggled with her dementia.
Agudas Achim has, for over 100 years, been a spiritual and communal support for many thousands of families. All of that requires the time, talent and treasure of many people. The large number of volunteers, our Rabbi, administrative staff and teachers, must be themselves supported, as well as the building and other real property.
My role as Director of Marketing and Development is one of the ways to provide that support. My job is to find new ways to raise funds, both on an ongoing basis and with specific events. Finding appropriate grants that can support some Synagogue activities is another avenue. I am looking for congregants who have time and talents, and particularly ideas, to help with this process. I have spent my professional life as a physician specializing in Internal and Addiction Medicine, and these kinds of activities are new to me. All help will be greatly appreciated.
I also want to add that in the midst of the current drug use crisis, which not only involves opiate (narcotic) drugs but alcohol, cocaine, methamphetamine and others, many people are seeing this crisis affect their families, their neighbors and others in their communities. As a physician with many years of experience in this field I am happy to be available to anyone with a need that I can help fill, whether that is for an ear, a shoulder or a voice for advice.
Thank you for your kind consideration and I wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year of 5780.
Amy and her husband George have lived in North Attleboro for the past 21 years. She grew up as a member of Agudas Achim, and became a bat mitzvah in 1983. He son, Samuel, followed in her footsteps, becoming a bar mitzvah in 2013. After being a member of the board for the past 4 years, Amy is looking forward to continuing to build on the momentum from our previous leadership.