"Temple Beth Sholom teaches us how to love being Jewish."
We came from different religious upbringings: Brielle grew up with Temple Beth Sholom (Rabbi Glickstein was the rabbi at her brothers' bar-mitzvahs), while Etan was raised in a modern Orthodox household in Brooklyn. We were both inculcated with the importance of "being Jewish" from a young age – but despite Etan's Orthodox indoctrination, by the time they met in 2002, it was more important to Brielle to raise a Jewish family than it was to Etan. TBS was the impetus that allowed our paths to eventually intersect to provide a consistent message for our family.
After getting married in 2005 and relocating to Miami Beach from New York, Brielle's father suggested to Etan that he get more involved in TBS. Etan had never envisioned becoming involved in any temple, much less a reform one. Years later, our children, Charlotte and Oliver, both attended the Foundation School and Etan is now a Vice President of TBS. Brielle is involved in a number of initiatives around TBS as well, including its Social Justice Network.
In addition to the enriching experiences our children had growing up at the Foundation school, TBS has been a constant and invaluable support system. After our son Oliver was born prematurely, Rabbi Pomerantz unexpectedly visited us at the hospital. Three years later, Rabbi Pomerantz performed the symbolic ceremony of the upsherin for him. We had no doubt then that ten years later she would be at his bar mitzvah, at TBS.
We continue to embrace the spirituality of our heritage. We recently began Havdalah at home - together, with the inspiration from Temple Beth Sholom, this practice has morphed from a meaningless "go through the motions" ritual to an important bookend for our hectic weeks.
We are a resilient community. We don't have the luxury to be complacent, and must do our part to ensure the success of the Temple. It's easy to rely on others to become the community leaders and reap the benefits of their work. Yet, the legacy of the Temple requires a much deeper level of participation. People need to consider whether they want a vibrant and impactful Temple with human interaction that reflects their Jewish beliefs, or a lukewarm façade with no substance, no kishkes.
During a Shalom Baby class, Rabbi Pomerantz spoke of the power of names and how "a name without meaning is just an empty breath." Judaism is about legacy and history. Remembering and propagating. We've been blessed with altruistic parents and grandparents who always gave without hesitation, just as we've been blessed with this opportunity to engage with such a spiritually rich platform. By doing our part, we are reinforcing their legacy, making sure our Temple is available and vibrant for years to come. We hope you will join us.