Thanksgiving Happy

“In These Times”

Tishri / Heshvan 5777

VOL. 50 NOS. 2


Aliza Goland, Executive Director Marcy Goldberg, Director of Education Donna Becker, ECC Director

Peggy Frank, President, Board of Directors Alan Greenbaum, Rabbi Emeritus

Andrew Straus, Rabbi David Shukiar, Cantor

From the Rabbi’s Desk

A few days ago, our son, Michael had a psychology class homework assignment for us to ponder. He was supposed to ask about the highest values and ideals that we had tried to teach our children. As Karen began to speak she said, “You know, I never thought I would say this, but the values we have tried to instill in you all come from Torah: What is hateful to you, do not do to others; be kind, and you have a responsibility to others in our community and the world.” Karen did not include to show love through affection, but instead to be a role model for your children. It’s important to understand that Karen grew up in an unaffiliated family and never had any formal Jewish education. But she has learned, and Torah has deeply touched her heart. And, even though her parents did not realize it, the values that she internalized from her parents were inspired by Torah, embraced by the generations that preceeded them. This fact continues to be true, to paraphrase author Robert Fulghum: all we really need to know, we learned from Torah, which is only one reason I am so excited about our upcoming Torah project. Formally titled “Our TORAH Project: Fulfilling the 613 th Commandment,” it is one of the most ambitious, meaningful and far-reaching programs of our 50-year history. Through this project, each one of us will be able to participate in writing our new Torah. Each one of us will have the opportunity

say, “I wrote that Torah.” We will create an excitement and a love of Torah in the next generation of TAE children, inspiring them to live by it and pass it on, as we are commanded to do. Our children and grandchildren will be able to read when they become B’nai Mitzvah from the Torah their family helped to write. You can easily ask, “Why write a new Torah? After all, we already have three.” The answer is simple: writing a new Torah will give each of us an opportunity to take personal ownership of the Torah in a way we never thought possible. Over the course of this next year each of us will have the opportunity to be engaged with, enriched by and excited about the words and deeds of Torah. Writing our Torah will bring out the best in each of us. For 3000 years we have been writing, reading, studying and living by Torah. It has moved us and inspired us. It is our people’s most treasured possession. For 3000 years we have passed Torah “from generation to generation.” Imagine passing this Torah that you have written on to the next generation, your children, and grandchildren. You will be instilling our highest ideals and values, teaching them to your great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren even after you are gone, empowering them with the lasting legacy that is part of our treasured heritage.


to hold the hand of Linda Coppelson, our soferet , as she writes their letter in the Torah. We will be able to look for generations to come and

Rabbi Andrew Straus

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