on Thursday, 02 October 2014.
As I write this, it’s begun to feel a little empty around Temple. It’s not for the lack of people. The fall Holy Day season brings a steady stream of visitors to Temple after the quiet weeks of summer. I love chatting with all of our members who “just drop by,” to register for school or a dinner, to bring their membership renewal, or to ask a question. As a wise executive director once taught me, “the interruptions are our work,” so no matter how many things we are juggling in the Temple office, we always enjoy the opportunity to catch up with our members and their families this time of year.
It feels empty at Temple because we are in the throes of High Holy Day preparations, a time when we relocate our intimate little congregation to the roomier space of the Jewish Community Centre. It’s a necessary accommodation for the capacity attendance during this season. Yet it always brings a special challenge as well. How do we maintain the
beauty, warmth, and intimacy that characterize our community without our beloved building, the beautiful tree-lined property, and the familiar “haimish-ness” of our Temple home?
This annual expansion is also something of a metaphor for our congregation as a whole. As we continue to grow and develop new generations of members and leaders, making the Temple “feel like” Temple becomes a challenge as well. Founding members see unfamiliar faces at events where they once knew everyone in the room. New members struggle to connect and find their niche among the moreestablished social fabric of the congregation. The many forms of “we always used to...” become “how should we...” as we build for the future.
The year 5775 will be a year of milestones for Temple Israel. We celebrate the 30th anniversary of our congregational charter with the UAHC/URJ. We mark our 13th or “bar mitzvah” year in our Temple home at 605 Windermere. Finally, I will complete my 5th year of service to you as your Rabbi. It has been an amazing journey, and I look forward to this unique opportunity to recognize the past, with the many blessings bestowed upon our community by the generation among us who worked to establish Temple Israel. It is also an opportunity to bring new voices into the conversation as we build a plan for London’s Reform community in the years and generations to come.
May this be a sweet year of memories and creativity. Join us as we celebrate our past and embrace the future. And be sure to just “drop by” once in a while to say hello. We always love to see you.
Shanah Tovah U’metukah