Michael  Hochschild, President

Dear Congregants,

I am privileged to bring you a largely positive report of our first month in operation as the new board.  I say “largely positive”
because I also need to acknowledge the discord which existed in our congregation. 


Congregants and former congregants alike have concentrated on their own perceptions of what happened, some on governance and management, others on philosophy or personality.  Our new board believes in moving forward in harmony.


I personally am making every effort to reach out to all of you, and I expect the other trustees and committee leaders to do the same.  We are all living under the strain of COVID-19, but we do know that this virus will pass and the world will eventually heal.  I am personally committed to doing whatever it takes to ensure that Bat Yam will heal too!

Since the formation of our new leadership team, we have:

    -- extended our season in order to find ways to bring our community together virtually during this time of isolation;already enjoyed five weeks of Friday night virtual Shabbat Welcomes, compliments of our Rabbi and Cantor (going forward these sessions will be available via Zoom, the Bat Yam Temple of the Islands Facebook homepage, and the www.batyam.org website)

    --  continued seamlessly with upwards of 40 people attending the Rabbi’s Saturday morning Shabbat classes via Zoom

  -- enjoyed a first for all of us, a virtual seder, attended “live” by 94 congregants from as far away as Hawaii and Germany, and later viewed by 156, to date, on YouTube;had 43 people gather at our Rabbi’s first Wednesday morning “Coffee with the Rabbi”

   -- introduced our brand-new Technology Committee of six, which has not only made all of the above possible, but also has enabled many congregants to become comfortable with modern technology, allowing us to enjoy the resulting benefits

   -- and published this edition of Bat Yam Matters, with only two weeks’ notice, which reflects the dedication of everyone involved and our new “let’s get it done” ethic.


The aim of our new lay leadership team is to be open, transparent, diverse and inclusive.  We invite calls from any congregant who may have feedback, suggestions, complaints, compliments, questions or new ideas. 

Telephone lines to myself (917-561-7888), 1st VP Janice Block Chaddock (312-520-0603), or 2nd VP Bob Schoen (630-561-7976) are always open! 


Board trustees and Bat Yam committee leaders meet regularly via phone or Zoom to plan new programs, solve problems, and share innovations which we may want to introduce. 


As we move on, we fully expect this menu of tasks to contain many fewer problems and much more innovation.


In real life, however, there is uncertainty and complications, and we are going to count on you for your support and ideas until we once more live in an unfettered world.


Amongst our friends and families, we have unfortunately had word of some cases of coronavirus. Those afflicted are recovering or have recovered, but tragically we know of some who have passed.  Dr. Bachman, at our first virtual Coffee with the Rabbi, pleaded with all of us not to take chances and to remain safe, after reporting several cases in his own family.  That is wise advice and not to be taken lightly.


May all of you and your families stay safe and healthy,



                                                                              Michael Hochschild