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Relationships

By: Pam Kaitin-Miller

 

I believe that everything in life is about relationships, and the more you put into

those relationships, the more you are likely to receive from them.  This is true for

friendships, family, schooling, organizations and institutions like Temple Emanu-

El.

My relationship with Temple Emanu-El began over 30 years ago when my

husband and I - as newlyweds - joined the Temple and were invited to a new

members’ brunch.  The room was filled with veteran members as well as

‘newbies’ like ourselves.  There, we met another young couple who had just

moved to the area and who soon became our closest friends and remain so to

this day.  They invited us to join their newly formed young couples havurah and

we instantly became hooked.  We now had literally a group of friends with whom

to socialize at least monthly and to invite to Shabbos dinners, to celebrate with,

and mourn with.  What a blessing for a young woman moving here from New

York knowing no one and desperate for connection.  Thank you Temple Emanu-

El!

When we had our first child we brought her to the Temple for her naming.  There

on the bimah was another young couple naming their daughter.  The mother of

the other girl and my husband had both attended Hebrew School elsewhere and

their teacher from that Hebrew School read Torah as both girls were named.

Those two girls - now almost 30 years old - are the best of friends.  When our

daughter walked down the aisle of Emanu-El on her wedding day, that other girl

was there in the wedding party attending our daughter.  Thank you Temple

Emanu-El!

As our children and family grew, we found other families and entries into Temple

life.  We began to attend Shabbat services regularly.  We were able to create a

program on Saturday mornings for our children - Tot Shabbat - and became

‘regulars’ so our children literally grew up at the Temple.  When it was time for

our eldest to become a bat mitzvah we invited the entire congregation to the

Kiddush (at one time this was not the norm) and to control the costs of having

400 guests, we cooked the food ourselves with the help of our Temple family,

friends and havurah.  This was repeated for all our children.  Nothing beats

seeing your child shine and then being surrounded by loving smiling faces

wishing you Mazel Tov.  We reciprocated for others as well and were thus

intimately involved in countless b’nai mitzvah at the temple.  This weekend, we

celebrated in total joy the success of another ‘Temple kid’ - one with special

needs.  Being able to witness this child’s success and joy was a highlight for all

who were in attendance.  Thank you Temple Emanu-El!

As in every life there has been sadness, as well.  When my husband lost his

mother he became a regular at the chapel minyan every morning.  He has been

doing this for ten years to ensure anyone in mourning has a place to say kaddish.

When his father died, he called to inform the Temple and both rabbis were

waiting in the hospital with my father-in- law’s body until my husband could get

there.  There are no words for that kind of support and hesed.  Thank you

Temple Emanu-El!

I have been privileged to serve on the Board of the Temple, I have been an

officer and have sat on a number of committees.  When I would be asked to sit

on the bimah I would look out at the congregation and feel such a sense of love

and warmth for the people that make up this institution that we call a Temple that

I was often overwhelmed (but never at a loss for words!).  Thank you Temple

Emanu-El!

I have been part of a number of communities within the larger community: first

the havurah, then the young families cohort, then the ‘temple regulars’, and for

the past 17 years the Purim shpiel cast.  For months each year we laugh, sing,

trip on our own two feet and make merry for ourselves and the entire Temple.

What a way to shoo the winter blues away!  Thank you Temple Emanu-El!

The Temple has been a mainstay in my life and my marriage for 33 years.  I have

seen first-hand the support and caring that this community has given to me and

to others.  I hope in some small way I have also contributed to making the

Temple a warm, wonderful place to be and belong.  Thank you Temple Emanu-

El!

Sun, December 16 2018 8 Tevet 5779