by Tamar Davis, CEO
It was a full and joyous week with some much needed in-person (outdoors) time with our Board of Trustees, committee members, and staff at our Annual Meeting on the Temple Emanuel pavilion and at a staff meeting at Skyline Park. The last time any of us met in person together in a group like this was a year ago, and coming together at this moment was truly a celebration in so many ways.
Both board members and staff shared highlights from this past year filled with challenges and achievements, which included safely welcoming back our Gateways staff, students, and teen volunteers in-person for our Jewish Education programs, serving a record-breaking 136 students in the area day schools, honoring Founding Executive Director Arlene Remz for her years of service with the most successful fundraising event in Gateways history, and, with additional significant funding that we secured, establishing new programs for much-needed mental health support in our day schools.
The Annual Meeting was also bittersweet, as we thanked Nora for her thoughtful and engaged service as Co-President this year. Personally, I am so grateful to have gotten to know Nora during this year, with her incredibly strategic mind and her ability to move effectively from contemplation to action. As Immediate Past Co-President, Nora will continue on the Executive Committee of the Gateways Board in the coming year.
The Co-Presidency model that Nora and Dara successfully brought back was “a collaborative way of leading the Gateways board through its responsibilities,” said Dara. With an eye to building upon this success as well as planning for the succession of this critical leadership role for years to come, we are delighted to welcome Lisa Hills to the Co-Presidency for a two-year term (as Dara continues into the second year of her own two-year term).
I first met Lisa when she and I (together with Gateways Trustee Julie Childers) first joined the Gateways Board in June 2019, and I got to know her better as co-chair of the Gateways CEO Search Committee when I was interviewing. And this year, our relationship deepened through her continued role as chair of our HR task force, her service as a presidential appointee on the Executive Committee, and her invaluable management consultant expertise. In her remarks at the Annual Meeting, Lisa shared, “I look forward to working with each of you in new and exciting ways, to continue to reimagine Gateways as the organization at the forefront of what true access and inclusion mean. There is so much work to be done here in the Greater Boston area and beyond, and I’m looking forward to building on our rich past and to charting Gateways’ future together.”
I hope you will join me in thanking Nora and welcoming Lisa to the Co-Presidency. I continue to be so grateful to our lay leadership for their devoted service to Gateways’ mission of providing access for all our children and teens to Jewish life and learning.
May the leadership of Gateways continue to go mi’chayil el chayil, from strength to strength.
Tamar Davis, Chief Executive Officer