Dear Fellow Member,
Next month will mark my 47th year as the leader of this wonderful community. Words do not reach far or wide enough to express the fulfillment and good fortune my work with the Ethical Culture Society of Bergen County has brought me.
But time inevitably flows on and as life teaches us all good things must come to an end. I am now 72—hard to believe! Thoughts of retirement have been on the horizon for a while and the time has now come.
I have decided to end my career as leader of the Ethical Culture Society of Bergen County at the end of December of this year.
A brief letter of farewell cannot begin to capture the feelings occasioned by this transition in my life. I hope at some point to find the opportunity to more completely share with you what my life with the Society has meant to me. Let me just say all too briefly that I have never seen work with the Society as solely a means to earn a living, and my engagement with the Society has not been merely a job, a career, or even a vocation. Rather, it has been a source of my life’s deepest meaning, a vehicle by which to develop my potentials and an engagement that has enabled me to shape my character and become the person I have most wanted to be.
How many professional opportunities allow a person the freedom to envision and pursue his or her own interests, live out his highest ideals and values, and do so with integrity? How many encourage a person to dedicate one’s life to the cause of justice and to find meaning in devotion to lasting things that uplift the spirit?
My career with the Bergen Society has brought these rewards and personal enrichment beyond measure. But most significant has been the human side of my involvement with the Society—the hundreds, indeed thousands of people I have worked with and come to know through all these years, in many instances across several generations. We have shared joyous moments and I have gotten to touch many lives at times of tragedy and sorrow. All of these innumerable encounters, relationships, and friendships have been a great privilege.
But the most lasting reward emerges from the abiding reality of being the recipient of your extra-ordinary kindness, your humanity and I sense also, respect and honor. These are life’s greatest gifts, and I simply can’t thank you enough for all that you have given me. My engagement with our wonderful community has been virtually commensurate with my life and so who I have become in great measure is because of the experiences and lives we have shared together. It is my life story and you have been an essential part of it. Again, I could not be more thankful.
Our Board and Leadership Advisory Committee are currently working on plans to transition to new leadership for our Society.
I am leaving the leadership of a Society that is stronger, more efficiently organized with an exceptionally talented and devoted membership, more so than when I assumed my position in 1974. I leave fully confident that our Society will continue to flourish and bring the best we have in us to one another and to the wider world.
After I retire, I plan to remain a member of the Society, but will refrain from engaging in roles beyond those of a member. But I look forward to informal ways to sustain warm and vibrant relations with all of you.
With love, solidarity and enduring gratitude,