Have you been in Shomrei over the past two weeks? One of our members, and a friend, whispered in my ear, “it’s happening”. I did not need to ask him, “unhh?”, because I knew exactly what he meant.
Change. It is finally visible. Big change, cultural evolution, does not happen immediately. The ideas need to be conceived, then nurtured, and finally “happening”. It has been five years (that I know of) since the theme of “Making Shabbat the central day of the week” was conceived. Even before that, the Education Board , conceived the idea of a Shabbat School. JLC will be Saturdays instead of Sunday. This new concept meant a whole new way to think about Shabbat for both students and parents. Shabbat School had its inaugural day two Shabbats ago.
Change is like a snowball, it may start small but as it goes down the mountain, it grows in size. If parents need to bring their children to JLC on Saturdays, what can we do for them to socialize with their peers, in the building. @Nourish was born. Dale Russakoff was the first speaker to a full audience. The nicest thing I saw, was people going back and forth between the sanctuary and @Nourish, maximizing both experiences. I do not want to forget our new Hinei Mah Tov (Intergenerational Service) led by Lily Lucey, in the continued evolution of what was started three years ago.
The snowball is getting bigger. Other wonderful programming: A musical Taste of Shabbat with 60 people of all generations, a musical Selichot service preceded by a wonderful discussion led by Megan Lewis, Executive Vice President of Everytown for Gun Safety, on gun control. I do not want to forget the wonderful workshop we had Sex, Gender, and Orientation, Oh My!: Not So Straight Talk about LGBTQ Inclusion,” led by Daniel Bahner of Keshet. To hear how the world has changed, and how fellow Jews, who have a different sexual orientation, are part of our community. We all learned a lot from Megan and Daniel.
Shabbat is over 100 people in the building, of all ages. I will ask the question again, Have you been in Shomrei over the past two weeks? For those of you who have not, and there are not many of you, this is not the synagogue you remember. Let me add a quote from a prospective new member, “Shomrei seems similarly progressive and groovy”.
image: “wind-formed snowball“ © Marillye Soveran adapted and used with permission via Creative Commons License.
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Yasher koach to all the hard workers behind the scenes who had a vision and the tools to make the vision a reality.
Well put! I couldn’t agree more and I love your quote at the end. Thank you for expressing what we’re feeling!