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Being Engaged

02/28/2022 09:19:57 AM


Tami Raubvogel, President

My 81 year old mother just moved out of the house she has lived in since 1977. My three siblings and I helped her come to the conclusion that the needs of maintaining a large house is just too much for her to do by herself.  

This new (and hopefully improved) living arrangement offers a multitude of classes and activities available for all residents. There is a gym, a hair salon, a walking track and even a daily happy hour in the common dining room. The residents are highly encouraged to participate in these group activities. Interacting and engaging with others is a tenet of this community’s values. 

As it should be. It is vital for her own well-being to engage with others. It is equally as important for her to be there for other people. Being part of a community goes both ways. The community is there for individuals when it is needed and the individuals need to be there for the community.

This experience reminds me of our very own Congregation Beth Jacob. As many of you know, our synagogue has done everything possible to keep the doors open during the pandemic. During these last two years, we have creatively and technologically come up with ways to reach out to every one of you. Every Shabbat service, adult education program, Torah study, or Shiva is available in a hybrid format; in person and virtual. Our Preschool and Religious School haven’t missed a beat and continue to provide an education for our youth. Our Gala Committee has reinvented the format of the Gala so that we can gather together again to honor Rabbi Ezray and his service to our community.

We have even erected a large tent in the parking lot so, if you choose to, each of you can enjoy a boxed kiddush lunch in the relative safety of the outdoors. Additionally, every congregant has heard from us when a team of clergy, staff, and lay leaders made calls, twice. We have shown you time and time again that CBJ is here for you.

Now it is time for you to be there for the rest of the CBJ community. Whether you realize it or not, you are important. Someone else is counting on you to share in the vibrant programs like book clubs, classes about Jewish Arts and Media, Shabbat Power Hour, lectures, committee work around Respectful Dialogue, and activities around social action and social activism. 

I would like you to consider attending one of the amazing CBJ programs or events. You can find a list of them in the weekly Shabbat Shalom or on the CBJ website. Choose something that interests you and then call a friend and ask them to join you; or come alone and meet some new people; attend either in person or virtually; whatever and however it works for you. 

I believe you will be pleasantly surprised to find how good it feels to connect with your Jewish community again. And the best part is that the people who you see will feel very good too. 

Before she moved in, I gave my mom a pep talk. I said I know this is a big step but if you engage and choose to be part of your new community, it could be life changing. You can learn a new skill, find a new hobby, or you could meet your new best friend. 

I encourage every CBJ member to get involved. We need you to help create and sustain connections with others in our Jewish community. And you never know, you might learn something new, find a new hobby, or meet your new best friend.

Thu, September 28 2023 13 Tishrei 5784