A Message From Our Executive Director

Forgiveness is not an occasional act; it is an attitude.

~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


In the days ahead, Temple Emanu El congregants and guests will come together for our Yom Kippur services.  During this time, as we atone for our sins, it is important for us to consider whether or not saying “I am sorry” is enough.  Maureen Healy, a noted child development expert, presents Five Simple Steps for Actual Forgiveness:

1. Acknowledge what happened

2. Experience your feelings

3. Say you want to forgive

4. State you don’t want to carry the anger (frustration, guilt and/or resentment) anymore

5. Release or as Disney’s popular movie Frozen tells us, “Let It Go.”

By teaching our children and ourselves how to truly forgive, we are set up for success along with a foundation of strength.  This along with self-love is a powerful tool.


While I try, I will be the first to admit that I have a thin skin and it’s difficult for me to not take things to heart.  In this New Year, I will challenge myself to not take words and actions so personally.    The bottom line is that all of us have the sole responsibility for our emotional lives.    My act of forgiveness won’t necessarily condone someone else’s actions, but it will allow me peace


The simple act of forgiving oneself and others contributes to better health and a wealth of happiness.  We must remember that we are imperfect human beings. Holding a grudge only keeps your heart empty.   


I also challenge myself to be more tolerant of others in the coming year.  I hope to become more compassionate towards others and less judgmental.  So, if I have wronged you this year, I not only apologize, but am working on making positive changes in myself.


So, in this New Year, I challenge all of you… young and old.  What one or two behaviors that you possess would you like to change this year? 


Wishing all of you much emotional and physical health in the New Year,


Renee Higer

Executive Director