"What we found was the warmest, most welcoming space we have ever known."
We live in a time of hyper-connectivity (technologically speaking), yet many times we feel so disconnected from each other. Giving back through our various roles and opportunities at Temple Beth Sholom grounds our family and gives us time to pause and reflect with gratitude on all that we have. It is also a time for us to re-connect spiritually with ourselves and our Temple family. Being part of this community helps re-connect us, support us, and teach our three daughters, Orli, Micah and Nili, learn to see themselves as a part of a larger and more important whole.
Temple Beth Sholom has played a key role in creating our Jewish home in Miami. We became members in 2006 after getting engaged, as a pathway to my formal conversion. Gary was raised in a Conservative Jewish home in New York/San Diego, and I was raised Lutheran in Racine, WI. When we met in college in LA back in the mid-90s, I began my long and twisty journey to becoming a Jew myself. As a couple we reunited in 2004, after Gary lost his younger brother, which raised all sorts of soul-wrenching spiritual questions for him. It was a life-altering moment for us in which we both reconsidered what we wanted out of life and who we wanted to share it with. After I moved here from San Jose I made a phone call to Temple Beth Sholom to meet with a Rabbi. I had all sorts of negative (and frankly bizarre) images in my mind...about a white-bearded Rabbi in a huge black hat and a large forbidding wooden door that I would have to knock upon, only to be rejected the requisite number of times before being allowed in. What we found instead was the warmest, most welcoming space we have ever known. Gary and I already knew that we wanted to create a Jewish home together and we knew that we believed in Tikkun Olam. But TBS taught us that what we had missed was being part of a community.
In 2007, Gary and I were married by Rabbi Davis. I then went on to have an adult Bat Mitzvah under the loving instruction of Rabbi Pomerantz. We have taken on roles throughout the years with The Open Tent, the Tribe, the Temple & Foundation Boards, and recently hosted the Annual Fundraiser, the Sholom Y'all Ball. Two of our three children (so far), have gone through the Foundation School, which has helped them to form deep bonds with this community. When you see them tear through the halls, we know they see TBS as an extension of their own home. We love that!
We not only give to Temple Beth Sholom because we believe in creating a solid future for this institution to thrive for generations to come, but because we feel it is our moral imperative to give back to this place that has given us so much.