To our friends of the Adath community -
We recently learned that Risa Kessler’s job may be reduced to a part time role due to budget constraints. This reduction in compensation and elimination of benefits will ultimately force Risa to leave Adath, her employer since she was 16, and seek other full-time employment. We are writing this letter to voice our concern, and to ask that you join us in our plea to Adath’s lay and professional leadership to hear our voices and reconsider this path.
Risa has impacted members of the Adath community at every age and in countless ways. Her work with the Gan made children feel welcomed and she made their parents assured that their children were in a nurturing environment. As our children have grown, Risa has stayed connected with each of them and with their families.
Having had children go through Adath’s B’nai Mitzvah training program, we feel strongly that Risa is the primary reason that children and parents alike have a positive experience around this important milestone. Risa far exceeds her assigned duties and required time commitment as Adath’s B’nai Mitzvah coordinator. She masterfully assumes the role of gifted educator, tough taskmaster, child’s advocate, and trusted friend. Risa empowers her students with the confidence that they can accomplish anything through dedication and preparation. She is acutely aware of each student’s readiness and their challenges, and she approaches each student with an individualized plan to ensure that they have a successful and meaningful experience. We have been fortunate to have Risa lead our children through this process; we are convinced that our experience would not have been the same without Risa’s tireless efforts.
We have had numerous discussions about Risa with Adath congregants, lay leaders, and clergy. It seems that everyone we speak with recognizes Risa’s value - she’s irreplaceable; no one wants her to leave. The struggle, it seems, is how to “fix” the budget. We understand that budgets can be challenging, especially in these economic times. However, there must be alterative solutions that do not put Risa’s job at risk.
Thank you in advance for your acknowledgement of this letter. We are hopeful that we can make a difference.
Stacy and Noah Sandler
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