Dear Wandering Children of Israel!
If you are reading this, you are considering the possibility of becoming a member of Temple Israel and Jewish Community Center. Your reasons are as unique as you are, but they probably include a few possibilities that I could suggest. You are not currently a member of a synagogue but you think that it’s time, either to educate your growing children, and/or to enhance your life spiritually and socially. You are currently a member of a synagogue somewhere else, but you are looking for something different. Perhaps you feel a need for greater meaning in your life, and you want to be of service, to make your community and your world a better place, and to pass on those values. You may have a life partner whose Jewish or religious background is different from yours and you want to find a place to integrate those differences harmoniously. You may have attended Jewish services in other denominations of Judaism which don’t seem to fit anymore. You may be a seeker who has explored many spiritual practices and religious experiences outside of Judaism, and although you have been enriched by them….something seems to be calling you home. Temple Israel has something beyond what you can find at any other synagogue.
Temple Israel is full of people- members, clergy, and professional staff- who want more out of their lives than just a veneer of Jewish culture, meaning and connection. They want it to be real. They have realized that authentic, deep satisfaction comes, not from passively expecting it to be given to them, but by giving their own energy, time, resources, intelligence, curiosity and sincere, sustained effort. When the majority of people in a community act from this level of commitment, everything they do is more powerful, more fun, more beautiful and more real. Temple Israel members engage in study and leadership. We have more adults and young people chanting Torah on a regular basis than any community I have ever known. When Temple Israel members are needed - to renovate the Woodbine parsonage, to build a rain water harvesting system to make the synagogue more “green” -they are there. They don’t come empty-handed – their hands are filled with food, of course, but also with tools or prayerbooks - whatever is needed. Their warmth is not just for show. The children and young adults at Temple Israel are nurtured in their Jewish and personal growth, and many are loyal to and involved in the synagogue far beyond what is expected. Children and adults who learn differently are given the support that they need to learn, grow and participate.
Temple Israel is a place where what is good everywhere is just a little bit more so. That is what is meant by holy. This is an extra-ordinary, holy community. I hope you will consider becoming part of our family.
Cantor Caitlin Bromberg