Mar 2009

Term Limits

David diamond is a Wexner Heritage alumnus and president of B’nai David-Judea Congregation (, a Modern Orthodox synagogue in Los Angeles. He can be reached at

I have three months left.

This June, my two-year term as shul president will come to an end. When this first occurred to me I admit I was relieved. The position is a drain on my family life. It‘s a drain on my work life. I used to have hobbies—now, not so much. I imagined with great anticipation how satisfying it will feel to be a past-president of such a wonderful and unique institution. And then I asked myself, “When the end comes, when I leave all of this to my very able successor, will I have accomplished what I set out to do? What will I have to show for my time here?” 

And then I panicked. And I started making a list. A “to-do” list.

We are all living with term limits. Are our goals as leaders of organizations really so different from our larger goals in life, our goals as Jews? I want to make an impact, to leave what I’ve been handed better than I found it. Our shul is great, but it is not perfect. It will never be perfect. But I still have six months. Maybe with some careful thought and hard work I can help bring us that much closer to fulfilling our mission, to realizing our goals and aspirations as a community.