If I was going to describe in one phrase what I think my job is, then I would say, “Community Builder”. It is the one idea which encompasses almost everything I do. That is what I want to achieve in our 3rd Friday Family Services beginning on November 21.
The services will be targeted at elementary school age young people and their families. They will include essential Jewish elements such as eating, learning and schmoozing. There will be opportunities for young people as well as the adults attached to them to get to know each other better and build bonds between them. This monthly event will not be restricted to Temple members but is meant to be a way of reaching out to other young families who might see a good fit at Temple Sinai.
Rabbinic legend tells us that young people are the guarantors of our tradition. We want them to not only feel welcome at Temple Sinai but also feel real joy, be intellectually stimulated, and be spiritually inspired. I want young people to enjoy going to services with the adults who look after them but also hang out with their buddies in the lobby during services! They should get up for Religious School on Sunday morning but also go out as a group to the movies.
As a graduate of a Zionist Youth Movement, I know that, if the bonds between young people are strengthened at an early age within a Jewish context, there is no limit to what the depth of their commitment to the Jewish community might be in the future.
Rabbi Malcolm Cohen