Congregants helping Congregants: Sharing our resources, helping others connect to Jewish community
“Prayer cannot bring water to parched fields, or mend a broken bridge or rebuild a ruined city; but prayer can water an arid soul, mend a broken heart and rebuild a weakened will.”
— Abraham Joshua Heschel.
Two months ago, I wrote about the incredible strides made by Koleinu, our inclusion awareness committee at TE. Koleinu means “our voices” and it is our mission to give a voice to everyone in the community. Koleinu aims to increase awareness and facilitate participation for everyone within the five main pillars of Jewish life at Temple Emanu-El. We want to make Jewish life accessible for those who live with different abilities, physical disabilities and invisible disabilities, and educate those who do not.
Ruchanut- Worship & Spirituality is one of our five pillars here at TE. We share these words on our website: “Temple Emanu-El is PRAYER. We are your place of worship, to reflect, meditate and find peace.” Anyone who has ever walked into our doors, especially into a Friday or Saturday Shabbat service knows that we are a vibrant, humming center of prayer, spirituality and connection. We are about building holy moments between congregants and their community, between individuals and God.
There are many in our community who have been unable to experience the incredible and moving worship experiences we create in person. For one reason or another, we have community members who are homebound and unable to drive to synagogue to attend services. Streaming services via Facebook live has allowed us to cross those physical boundaries in leaps, but sometimes there is a very real need to pray amidst our community hand in hand, singing the words of our liturgy together.
Our new driving program seeks to close that gap by connecting folks who need a ride to services with folks who can give one. By matching up drivers and drivees who live near each other, we can provide an incredible gift, a prayer experience and communal connection to those in our community who are unable to be with us in person.
We hope you will connect with us and let us know of your interest in serving as a driver or if you are drivee! Our weblink and page with specific instructions is forthcoming. Check out our inclusion awareness page HERE
Finally, please save the date Friday January 25, 2019 for a very special Shabbat of the Senses. Join me, Rabbi Spike, and members of our koleinu committee as we lift up the voices of those who live with invisible disabilities/different abilities. It will be moving and inclusive for all.
Shabbat Shalom, and a very happy (secular) new year!
B’Shirah, (In Song)