President’s Message

Budgets are aspirational documents. They reflect our values and what is important to us. This is true whether it is our personal or household budget, the budget that guides our employer or our own business, our local, state, or federal government, or our own synagogue. Sometimes these documents are easy to prepare: We have enough funds to spend on those things that are important to us without risk of running out of money, and we might have some money left over—even after setting some aside for savings or future use—to be confident that we can go through the year with no problem.

Sometimes, however, we have difficulties in building a budget that both reflects our values and priorities but also considers the amount of money available to spend. This year our Virginia General Assembly and our governor had very different visions of our commonwealth’s budget both in terms of income and expenditure. In fact, those differing visions resulted in Governor Youngkin and the General Assembly agreeing to start all over again and work to meet the deadline for approving the budget by June 30th, the end of the fiscal year. The resulting budget will be a compromise.

Rodef Sholom Temple goes through the same kind of process every year in building our budget, which will be voted on at our annual meeting in June. What are our priorities? What are our necessities?  What are our sources of income? Which expenses can we control, and which are out of our control? What kind of programming and services do we want to offer our congregants? How do we support our staff and show our appreciation to them? All of these are considered in our budget committee meetings.

Rodef Sholom Temple is so fortunate to have dedicated members who worked on our budget over the past months to make sure that we prioritized both our aspirations and our funding sources. The committee was chaired by Kevin Hudson, 1st vice-president (administration), with Brian Weinberg (financial secretary), Chip Goldstein (treasurer), Jenni Connolly (3rd vice-president, building and grounds), Radie Maye (our administrator, who prepares the initial budget draft), and myself. We had input from Beth Arager (Sisterhood), Jim Barnett (Men’s Club), Tanya Wisoker (education director), and Kenny Murov (golf tournament chair).

Yes, we had very vigorous discussions about income and expenditures. We explored ways to minimize expenses when we could, and discussed ways to ensure we have the funds to fulfill our aspirations. The result is all about the future. We have done wonderful things this past fiscal year—a fantastic Purim spiel, delicious congregational dinners, compelling adult education, enriching classes for our students, among other things—and we will be able to do more this coming year. Our budget will help us along the way.


Martha Katz-Hyman