During Rosh Hashanah, Rabbi Rosenberg challenged each of you to think about, what does “I am Jewish” mean to you?
What a powerful, perplexing question! So why ask it? How would you answer the stranger or friend who asks this of you? Are you prepared to answer your children or grandchildren, and are they prepared to answer it when they too are asked? What thoughts or memories does the question conjure? What do I believe? What do I, as a Jew, stand for? Now is the time to bring the “I am Jewish” experience into your home!
We’re asking every person in every UH family, young and “experienced” alike, to take part in addressing this simple yet profound question. Please write down your thoughts and feelings about what being Jewish means to you. Your answer will be collected and published in our congregation’s very own “I am Jewish” book, to be shared with everyone so that we may all get to know each other a little better.
We realize this may be a challenge. For some of us our answers are obvious, while for others we may never even have given this question a moment of thought. Let’s face it, this is not an easy question. In fact, we’ll probably struggle with it along the way. But… This is an opportunity for each of us to define our “Jewish identity.” This is a chance to know why being Jewish really matters to us, and how it does.
Your answer may be just a few words, a couple of paragraphs, or even several pages. There are NO wrong answers! The length of your answer isn’t important…only that it comes from your heart. What really matters most is the process, the journey, to revive or awaken your Jewish soul and to stand and be counted as a member of our community by sharing part of yourself with others who are doing the same.
So, you ask, “What should we do next?” Well, let’s each make this a priority for our family. Devote some time to sit down together, and:
- Think about what “I am Jewish” means to (each of) you
- Discuss the question collectively, then
- Write your individual, personal answer
- Include your name, age and hometown (this is really IMPORTANT!)
- Return essays to United Hebrew by March 1, either by email, snail mail or by dropping them off at the temple office.
Finally, please take pride in your candidness and your participation in the “I am Jewish” initiative. We encourage ALL to join us; parent, child, grandparent, single, or couple.
Questions: Contact Rabbi Rosenberg at 314-469-0700 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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