Perhaps one of the greatest ventures by Arthur H. Penn, like Art Penn Pennant Park – his Park Avenue Synagogue has been a successful position in his personal life for many years. As Chairman of the Board, Arthur Penn has sought to provide hope and encouragement to his colleagues in the Synagogue and the members of the synagogue alike. While he works daily with the synagogue in his position, Penn has also provided the members and staff with an annual meeting speech that simply blew them away. His speech, which was lengthy, was actually a beneficial speech for his congregation members, fellow staff, and even himself.
He opened his speech by welcoming everyone in attendance to the 135th annual meeting of the congregation of the Park Avenue Synagogue. He began the speech by discussing the community and the teams that have worked hard in the community to spread the passionate vision of the synagogue as a whole. He discusses the beauty of the synagogue and the people who are the core of the belief that they hold. His description of the various programs and services available to the community really highlight the passion that this synagogue has for those in the world.
Penn also continues his speech with a discussion of the various educational programs that the synagogue provides for the members of the congregation and the community alike. Education is one of their core foundations as well, which is why they push it so hard. Penn notes the various programs like the adult education, teen education, and the Early Childhood Center for education, and he explains how they have both developed and provided in the community over the past few years. One of their other major educational programs is the travel education which uses things like trips to spread hope and encouragement to communities around the world.
Another major institution that the synagogue promotes is the Inclusion Initiative, which sets out to include not only the congregational members but also the members of the community. Their goal is to meet the people where they are, remaining true to their traditions, and including everyone they can at the same time. With this idea in mind, the synagogue has reached out and created a new initiative project. This project alone has helped increase the awareness of great Jewish leaders and their valuable history. The information can be found right on the synagogue’s website as well.
Penn brings up a story of a rabbi who simply didn’t want to go to shul, but with a little encouragement, he kept the course and went. This story might have gained a few laughs, but the goal of the story was to showcase the kind regard and inclusivity that the synagogue provides for everyone. No one will be burdened when they come to shul at the Park Avenue Synagogue. Because of their outreach programs and groups within the congregation, Penn notes how kind and welcoming the people are.
Another of the important pieces of the speech was the mention of their Caring Network. This initiative was begun to provide help to the community in various ways. Throughout the years, they have found helpful volunteers to visit with others, deliver meals, and even do their righteous work within the community. This initiative has also helped tell others of the Jewish values that the members of the congregation uphold on a regular basis. This Caring Network has been an important and beneficial group of the synagogue and its members. The volunteer work has also been an important part of the community around them.
Arthur Penn begins to end his speech by doing a series of thank-you’s to let the members of the congregation and the staff know how much their hope, kindness, and enthusiasm are much appreciated by the chairman. He starts by thanking the rabbi and the other members of the clergy for their dedication, support, and leadership within the synagogue. He mentions a few of the leaders who are stepping out of their position to allow for younger members to take their place, and he thanks each of them separately for their dedicated support over the years.
Finally, Penn leaves the members listening to his speech with a message of hope. He encourages them to keep up the good work, stay the course, and put their focus on the community. Penn hopes that through his speech, some will help boost those one-on-one connections that the synagogue is known for, and he hopes that many will seek ways to provide kindness and encouragement to others both in the congregation and in the community.
It is easy to see how Arthur Penn’s passion for the synagogue and the members of the synagogue have leaked into his speech. He not only cares about their well-being, but he cares about those in the community as well. This speech was not only a great encouragement for the members of the synagogue, but it was also a great testament to the kindness and passion that Penn shows for those around him every day of his life.