Last Thursday, an interfaith group of congregants, from Northbrook United Methodist Church in Roswell and some of our own friends and family from Temple Emanu-El, gathered for the first of a four-part series on building dialogue between our two faith communities. Most of our guests had never been in a synagogue or seen a Torah scroll before. As we all gathered on the bimah that evening, we removed the Torah from the Ark, opened it up, and we each explained what makes the Torah so special to our people.
Each member of Temple Emanu-El has a different connection to the Torah. Some of us connect to the Torah, because we have helped write the scroll itself. Some of us have helped to pass the Torah down to the next generation at B’nai Mitzvah ceremonies. Some of us find that connection when we send our children to the Diamond Family Religious School. What truly connects us all is our deeply held belief to give the next generation the gifts that we were given.
Tonight (Thursday), we are honoring one of the heroes of our community, Jess Goldberg, at the MACoM Gala, for the way she has passed down Torah to the next generation as a Hebrew AND Judaic Studies teacher at our Diamond Family Religious School. Jess sees the potential in every child to find their path to Torah and a strong Jewish identity. When you walk by Jess’s classroom you always find kids smiling and feeling proud of their successes, having learned new skills, and expanded their knowledge of Judaism.
We learn that one who has taught one child, has in fact, taught their future children and grandchildren until the end of generations. Jess Goldberg is a hero of our congregation for taking on the responsibility to teach Torah and inspire the young minds of our congregation with a love for Judaism.
Each one of us carries a connection to Torah. As the enduring symbol of the strength and vitality of the Jewish people, may we be blessed with opportunities to teach Torah to our children, and their grandchildren until the end of generations.