Gathering for Community & Connection

    12.26.23 | Stories, Articles

    In a world that celebrates individualism and independence, we can find ourselves feeling isolated precisely when we need others the most. Judaism, with its strong foundation of gathering in community,  offers  an antidote for this loneliness. Psalms 82:1 speaks of the divine presence when ten Jews, a minyan, unite for prayer or Torah reading. In the diaspora, Judaism has survived because small Jewish communities continued to gather together. Today, Temple Judea serves this purpose, a sacred space where communal responsibilities and deep relationships intertwine, and where the light of our sanctuary drives away the darkness of solitude. Here, we share joys, shoulder sorrows, and together, celebrate our Jewish values.  This is perhaps the most evident on Friday evenings, when the Goor Sanctuary fills with light, music, and prayer for Erev Shabbat.

    Even in this bustling season, with schools and offices closed, and so many people who are busy and traveling, Temple Judea gathers weekly for Erev Shabbat, providing a respite from the craziness, some sacred moments of rest and connection. Be it major holidays, or any Shabbat in between, attending a service means encountering the warm smiles of our Shabbat regulars - a core group of individuals who, week after week, gather to celebrate Shabbat, support mourners with Kaddish, say Mi Shebeirach for the sick, and extend a warm welcome to new faces. Whether you’re a familiar face or a newcomer, every Friday night, Temple Judea extends an open invitation to join with your community. 

    As we approach the secular new year, we encourage you to carry your Jewish values forward into 2024 by honoring Shabbat in new or newly consistent ways. Become an Erev Shabbat regular by coming for more Friday evening services, Join Rabbi Emeritus Goor on January 12, or experience our Artist in Residence Michael Ochs on January 19.  Or maybe aim for all three! Do you have young children at home? Then bring your tot for Tot Shabbat on January 20, or learn how to bring the joy of Shabbat into your home with Rabbi Raff’s All About Shabbat workshops coming in January. Together, we can navigate life’s challenges, honor our traditions, and gather in a place where relationships and Jewish values thrive – and continue to prosper.

    From the entire clergy team and staff at Temple Judea: Happy 2024!

    Please note that our administration offices, including the ECC, will be closed from December 25 through January 1, 2024. This does not affect Winter Camp Sababa. Our ECC will resume Monday, January 8. Regular Sunday & Tuesday Religious School classes, 7th Grade Tzedek Classes, & JTJ class programs will resume Sunday, January 7.

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