I was driving through the Shenandoah Valley admiring the beauty of the landscape, heading to a college graduation, and thinking about changes in one’s life. Several of my closest friends are heading to similar ceremonies this weekend and next. My closest friends are those I met at Temple Sinai when we all brought a child to Torah for Tots. We have maintained our friendships throughout the years. Naturally this led me to think about the different phases in one’s life and about the different phases in the life of a synagogue.
At one time we were the new member families with young children. Now we are the members whose children are graduating from college and moving into the workforce. Someday soon we will be the member families with grandchildren. Over the years the time spent at Temple for events or school programs or worship services changed as our needs and our other commitments changed. It seems part of the natural order of life.
So too the life of a synagogue changes over time. Temple Sinai has a long, rich heritage in Reno. Most synagogues began primarily as a place of worship and evolved into also being a place where a variety of interests and needs are met. More importantly perhaps, at this stage in life, we are moving towards a more transformational synagogue community.
What does this mean? This means a commitment to finding out from all of our members what is needed and wanted here at Temple Sinai. This means reaching out and connecting with one another in order to define a vision for our future. It also means building partnerships to find and implement effective ways to move towards our goals.
Two somewhat different words come to mind when I reflect upon the opportunities for change and renewal in the life of an individual and the life of a community such as ours. Dynamic is characterized by change, activity and progress. Traditional is defined as passing on the beliefs and custom from one generation to another. I think both are important concepts upon which to base our conversations about the next phase of life at Temple Sinai. I look forward to continuing the process we have begun with our Rabbi, our Board of Trustees, and our membership.
Warmest regards from a proud and happy Marilyn.