on Wednesday, 04 November 2015.
As I write this, we just completed a whirlwind weekend at Temple Israel. What a wonderful celebration the 30th anniversary was! So many of our founders and long-time members shared their memories, as the newer leaders and members added their own experiences into the narrative. It was a wonderful reminder of our Temple Israel “roots” - how we began, who helped us develop, and the many ways we have grown in 3 decades. It was a beautiful tribute to our past.
On Sunday, I attended the UJA Kickoff at the JCC. This year, the David Rubinoff Family Leadership Award did not go to a single individual or couple who have shaped the Jewish community of London. Instead, our community chose to honour the outstanding youth in our community. Students who have contributed more than 40 hours of community service were selected for the award. Almost 2 dozen of London’s teens were honoured for their exceptional commitment to making our community and our world a better place to live. You couldn’t leave the event without a profound sense of pride and hope for our collective future with these young adults leading the way.
Four of our Temple youth shared in the award - Larissa Eliasziw, Nevia Frank, Andre Lubczanski, and Gabriel Suskin. Not only have they all celebrated B’nei Mitzvah with their Temple community, and volunteered at one time or another with our religious school and family events; they all have also worked at the London Interfaith Peace Camp all three years of its existence. Their contributions speak to the dual responsibility we bear as Jews - supporting our community from within, as well as proudly working to fulfill our mission for Tikkun Olam in the wider London and interfaith community around us.
As Jews, we always live between past and present. Our history defines so much of our identity, and shaped the Jewish values that give us purpose. That mission to repair the world manifests differently in each generation. The causes our parents supported are often different from those our children will strive to embrace. But the ever-renewing commitment of our young adults should be an inspiration to us all.
May we continue to go from strength to strength.
Rabbi Debra Dressler