| |Dear Congregants,
This past Tuesday evening, the Board of Directors and the Personnel Committee completed a lengthy, thorough, and quite difficult process. Cantor Arik Wollheim, who has served our congregation for eleven years, including six years full-time here in Stamford and five years on a part-time basis from Jerusalem, will be concluding his service to the congregation.
We reached this decision at the end of a process that stretched for more than a year, with countless hours of effort from our hard-working volunteers. We have read dozens of letters from congregants, we have reviewed and built upon the work of previous Boards and previous Personnel Committees, and we have invested many, many evenings in discussions and interviews. Throughout this process, we have endeavored to treat the Cantor with respect, and to do the same for all of the many people who have been willing to share their thoughts and opinions. Let me take this opportunity to thank the Cantor, our volunteers, and everyone who has committed time and energy to this process; we are deeply grateful for your efforts.
The Board has voted to form a search committee to look for a new Cantor. If you have any questions or suggestions regarding the search, please feel free to contact any member of the Board, Executive Committee, Finance Committee, or Personnel Committee -- contact information is available on our website (www.cas-stamford.org) -- select Clergy and Staff, then Board of Directors and Committees.
As most of you know, many of my own best experiences in the synagogue have been when I have worked together with Cantor Wollheim, whether it has been in the High Holiday choir, the Agudat Shir mixed choir, or his concerts and special events. Cantor Wollheim has a rare and special musical talent, he has a unique and beautiful voice, and he can never be completely replaced.
For many of you, this change means you are losing a clergy member, a choir director, a friend. Please know that the Board, Personnel Committee and Executive Committee are fully committed to concluding our relationship with the Cantor in a spirit of dignity, respect, and friendship.
On behalf of the Board, I ask each of you for your understanding and your support as we wish farewell to Cantor Wollheim, and as we begin the search for our next Cantor. We thank Cantor Wollheim for all of the many contributions he has made to our congregation, and all the ways, big and small, that he has helped our members. We wish the Cantor, Tehilah, Yehudit and their families every success in the future.
Wishing each of you Shabbat Shalom,
Ira Berk, President
Congregation Agudath Sholom
Congregation Agudath Sholom
301 Strawberry Hill Avenue, Stamford, CT (203) 358-2200 www.cas-stamford.org