In this series of short blog posts from TOS staff and lay leaders, you’ll learn what each of us is most proud of about TOS. Each of these aspects is a snapshot that represents part of the diverse collage that makes Ohabei Shalom so special. Enjoy! And let us know what you think.

Wherever we go, whatever we do, we’re gonna get through it together!

Anyone who knows me knows that one of my core values is the value of community. What inspires me most in this world is what can happen when people join together in common cause, whether it is to fight injustice, care for one another, or make music. In each of these contexts, and more, we are able encounter the divine by being together.

The community at Ohabei Shalom is one I have come to know and love in my years here. Together we have shared Shabbat dinners, service projects, musical peaks, heartfelt conversation, text study, and soulful worship. I’ve had my spirits lifted on hard days by your kindness and hugs, and I hope I have lifted your spirits too, at times.

Different strokes for different folks…

It always amazes me to see the diversity of this community. When I see you at Shabbat B’yachad, High Holy Days, Shalom@Home, Team Ziti, or something else, I have the honor and joy of encountering people of many different backgrounds, generations, and interests. Yet what unites us is clear: our devotion to having meaningful experiences together, as part of the congregation we love. In a recent conversation with an older congregant, I was touched by how much he and his wife enjoy the intergenerational quality of Ohabei Shalom events. Where some people might see “all those kids running around,” our community sees the future. It is so special to see how much people enjoy being together.

Something old, something new

I also frequently hear from congregants how much they appreciate the spirit of innovation we bring, even to traditional events. If you came to services on the Shabbat before the recent solar eclipse, for example, you would have participated in the customary Reform liturgy – and you would have left with “Here Comes the Sun” on your lips, as Rabbis Saltzman and Berkman closed out the service with an optimistic nod to that rare astronomical event. Our mission statement notes that we are progressive in attitude and traditional in practice: so while the frame of traditional Reform worship and practice is sturdy, the art you find within that frame can be very unique indeed! (Stay tuned for some cool innovations at High Holy Days…)

Life at Temple Ohabei Shalom is always an adventure, with something for everyone! I look forward to sharing the adventure with you.