Beth Tikvah Logo Beth Tikvah Congregation
300 Hillcrest Blvd Hoffman Estates, IL 60169

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Beth Tikvah Congregation

Our House of Hope

300 Hillcrest Blvd, Hoffman Estates, IL 60169  

847-885-4545

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From the President's Desk

Ilene Kettering, President

ilene kettering

01
May
2017

Reflections

Two years ago, during the congregational trip to Israel, I officially started my presidency of Beth Tikvah Congregation. As they sang at the close of every Mickey Mouse Club episode – “now it’s time to say goodbye to all our family,” but not before I write something, reflecting on our community.

As President, you have a unique view – a view from the top, so to speak. Although I have been part of this Congregation for many years and on the Executive Board for the past nine, I’ve only come to appreciate the sheer complexity underlying our seemingly simple, haimish House of Hope, while serving as its president.

Although Beth Tikvah is physically housed in a single building, I now think of it more as a small town community – a veritable town mall where all of the different buildings – the schoolhouse, the house of worship, the wedding chapel, the bank, the library, the concert hall, dance hall, the restaurant, the bakery, the village square, the meeting hall, the funeral parlor – are all encompassed within one modest building.

Like a very alive small town, our town buzzes with activity many hours of the day and night. The analogy to a small town breaks down because the vast majority of proprietors of the different establishments here are not “the town’s banker” or “the orchestra conductor” or “the restauranteur,” they are Beth Tikvah’s staff and congregants, certainly not running their “establishments” to reap the benefits of a thriving town business.

While the currency of most small towns is money and profit, I finally determined that the currency that underlies Beth Tikvah’s functioning is pure, unadulterated love. It is the only way to explain why our educators spend incalculable hours at our schoolhouse, far more than is covered by their salaries, teaching our children and creating a context for Jewish learning that allows the town’s children to develop lifelong friendships reaching from “cradle” well into adulthood and beyond. It is the motivator that moves our clergy to give unselfishly of their time, not only to worship and education but to pastoral events both joyous and solemn, whenever they occur, even when there is little advance notice. They do, in fact, make house calls. There is our town administrator, Lucy, who provides a welcoming smile and information to those new in town who are thinking of “settling here.”

And then there are the many residents of Our Town, aka volunteers. Volunteers are responsible for the vast majority of activities that are needed to keep our Beth Tikvah town running. This article would be a book if I tried to single out and recognize each person for serving in a community leadership role or as someone who helps provide one (or more) of our many “municipal” services. Needless to say, we, the members of Beth Tikvah, actually create the many activities and governance of our town, far beyond its primary functions of worship and education. We are also fully responsible for providing the finances needed to keep our town solvent – to pay for our clergy, educators, and staff as well as ensuring that our town mall is a warm, safe, comfortable place for us to congregate.

Finally, there are the town leaders who give so much of their time by taking on the important service of chairing committees and serving on our Board of Directors, along with our Executive Board, who ensure that Beth Tikvah is governed with the principles of Reform Judaism and in a manner that serves us all.

As I step down as the Mayor of our town, I am stepping down, not stepping away, because I, too, am motivated by love for our community and keeping it the amazing House of Worship, House of Hope, House of Education, House of Community that we all love. It has been my privilege to serve as your President for these past two years. Thank you for contributing your hard-earned money, your sweat equity, your presence and participation to making Beth Tikvah our House of Hope that truly lives up to its name!

With Gratitude,
Ilene

Categories: President

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