This past weekend, I had the good fortune to accompany our Development Director, Ruby Shalansky, and our President, Rob Stolzman, for our bi-annual Florida reunion. The weekend provides a marvelous opportunity to see our members who now live in Florida, to thank them for their support, and to strengthen the ties that bind us together as a family. In our increasingly mobile world, a world shaped by technology and social media, we no longer have to define our social and religious community by physical proximity alone. Rather, our Jewish community will be measured more by feelings of warmth, meaning, shared values, and personal connection; the comfort of knowing that in times of joy or sadness, your Beth-El family stands with you.
he weather outside may have been overcast, the atmosphere inside the Palm Beach Colony was delightful. Over a festive and delicious brunch, we kibitzed with each other, catching up on the latest family news. We watched a slide show documenting recent Temple programs, and Rob gave us an update about the Temple’s current good fortune – our growth in membership and the religious school, our financial stability, and the next generation of leaders who are stepping up to ensure our community’s Jewish future.
But even with all this good news to share, our reunion was a reminder that our Temple’s success is only possible because we are able to stand – firmly and securely – on the shoulders of the generations who came before us. A few of our members shared their fond memories of attending services led by Rabbi Braude, while many more recalled Rabbi Gutterman’s warmth and compassion during times of celebration and mourning. And while they may have been reflecting on their past, their spirits were truly buoyed because the welcoming Jewish community they helped to build was now extending its hands to welcome a whole new generation of builders. May we continue to pass on this cherished legacy to our children, l’dor v’dor, from generation to generation.