There are few experiences or decisions one makes that can be viewed as “life changing” other than the “normal” ones i.e., marriage, career, child rearing etc. But outside of those biggies, joining a synagogue has come to mean a life altering event in my later life. Having always been an affiliated, practicing, Reform Jew and a third generation one at that, has always been a source of great pride for me. It is a label I use to identify myself when trying to define for someone who I am and what are my beliefs. The synagogue was always a place that I came to for spirituality, education and in general my religious identity. But now I must be frank and add what joining Temple Am Echad has come to mean to me and how it has served to change the way that I view myself on many different levels.
The meaning of Am Echad as one people is one that means the truth for me. I can honestly look around the sanctuary and find it difficult to identify by origin most of the people that are praying. There is one common denominator amongst them, they are my friends. Not all, not all on the same level, but friends none the less. Some are friends that have reached out, and made themselves part of our lives. Some just smile and greet me with warmth and understanding. Some I now cannot imagine being without in my day to day life. And a rare few are just there without the connection, but those are few indeed. How many people can point with pride to new friends acquired after a life of friends, new friends that have welcomed you, taken the time to know you and made you a part of their lives as well. How fortunate we are to have “found “each other at this point in our lives. Where else, I feel, but in a place that defines itself in its oneness? What a warm feeling to have this experience!!
by Greta Kantrowitz