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Why I Chose Temple Emanu-El

By: Deborah Siegel


When I first came to Temple Emanu-El I sensed the community’s warmth and inclusiveness, but

was not sure if I would fit in or ever feel that I was truly a part of things.  However, over time in

attending Shabbat services, joining committees, participating in the Adult Institute, attending

social programs and chatting with other members it became clear to me that I had found my


While I was raised in a home that strongly identified as Jewish (we belonged to Reform

congregations and I went to religious school two days a week from preschool through high

school), I came to Temple Emanu-El unfamiliar with Conservative services and practices.  As a

new member, it all felt a bit alien to me.  No longer!   At Temple Emanu-El it is perfectly fine for

me to say, “I don’t know this.  Please explain it.  Show me how to do it.”  I have been welcome

to make mistakes and stumble while trying to master knowledge and skills.  It is fine for anyone

to plug in only to those activities that have appeal.  That openness to individual differences and

diversity warms my heart.

Sat, August 8 2020 18 Av 5780