When Members Become Partners: A Synagogue Embraces The Convenant

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April 1, 2013

There are so many wonderful things about University Synagogue. When one looks at our synagogue calendar, who isn’t impressed with how many activities, events, classes, services and opportunities for connection and growth we offer.

Incredible speakers, wonderful music and big crowds at services, a thriving Pre-School and two dynamic Religious School programs – in our building and at Adventures in Jewish Education (AJE) – Women’s Connection, Tikkun Olam/Social Action, The Trial, Family Services and events, thirty Adult Education courses, International Jewish Film Festival, Kallah, Mitzvah Campaign, Gala and so much more – the action never stops.

But we really shouldn’t rest on our laurels. The true measure of success for a shul is how we relate to one another, how we share our lives with each other and how we create community.

In Reconstructionism, we talk about “belonging” as central to Jewish identity and life and that means much more than membership. It means belonging to each other, what Judaism calls a brit/covenant.

Here are some ways:

1. Come to the Kallah/Family Retreat from April 12-14 and eat, schmooze, study, daven, laugh and meet lots of fellow University Synagogue members. Then, turn those members into friends. The Kallah is truly special because we really get to know each other over two full days together. (RSVP now.)

2. Join for Israel’s 65th birthday on Friday, April 19 when a unique all-congregational service will take place with our Religious School children and Young Cantors leading the Shabbat Alive service with the Cantor and me. With displays of all kinds for adults and children at the Oneg Shabbat along with Israeli folk dancing, there will be lots to do or you can just sit back and kvell over Israel and University Synagogue. Come for Israeli food at dinner. The reason that we have so many Shabbat dinners is so people can meet and get to know each other. (RSVP for dinner.)

3. Come to my newest “Coffee With The Rabbi” on Monday, April 8. No fundraising and no guilt, even if you rarely attend University Synagogue, but it’ll be a great opportunity for me to get to know you better and for you to get to know our fellow congregants even more. (RSVP now.)

4. Come in to see me. You don’t need a reason. Just call the office, set up a time and we’ll schmooze. Bring your children – I’ve got toys. Bring your problems – I’m here to listen. Share your stories with me – I’m interested.

University Synagogue always strives to impact the world, Jewish life and you! Relationships require face-to-face encounters and informal opportunities for connection. So don’t just be a member. Become a partner in the future of University Synagogue and in the lives of the men, women and children of our community.

I’m waiting for you to call me.


Rabbi Arnie Rachlis


April 1st 2013 |