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Yom Rishon, 1 Kislev 5778

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A synagogue is the place where...

1. We can encounter God, engage with God, wrestle with God.

2. We can hear God’s voice without the intrusion of the world’s noise around us.

3. We can say prayers for healing and find personal healing of the soul.

4. We can pray with a community that supports and nurtures us.

5. We can find answers to the big questions in life.

6. We can find help formulating the questions.

7. We can find an anchor in a rudderless world.

8. We can be lifted up when we fall.

9. We can be taught to be humble.

10. We can learn to express gratitude.

11. We can intimately connect to Jewish religion or religious practice where it is preserved along with its contemporary expression.

12. We can mark the transitions of life.

13. We can educate our children and grandchildren.

14. We can learn Hebrew and learn about Judaism and Jewish religious practice.

15. We can learn the Torah of living a righteous and fulfilling life.

16. We can discover our place in the collective history of the Jewish people, as well as determine our role in it.

17. We can find affinity with others who hold values similar to our own.

18. We can hear a message of hope we can offer to the greater community.

19. Our children can be taught to be menschen, moral and upstanding contributors to society, and taught a values system to make their own moral and ethical decisions.

20. We can find a community of transcendent meaning and at the same time be intellectually stimulated Jewishly.

21. We can explore and deepen our relationship with the land and people of Israel.

22. We can make a statement to our neighbors about the rightful, equal place of Jews in society, as well as the importance of Judaism and Jewishness for our own identity and the identity of our families.

23. We can organize and be organized around societal and social justice issues that affect us and our community, and we can volunteer to help others in need.

24. We can participate in Jewish cultural and social, as well as religious, activities.

25. We can develop and offer our leadership to the Jewish community and the Jewish people.

This material is from New Membership & Financial Alternatives for the American Synagogue: From Traditional Dues to Fair Share to Gifts from the Heart by Rabbi Kerry M. Olitzky and Rabbi Avi S. Olitzky, © 2015, published by Jewish Lights Publishing, P.O. Box 237, Woodstock, VT 05091, (802) 457-4000; www.jewishlights.com. The Publisher grants permission toyou to copy this handout. All rights to other parts of this book are still covered by copyright and are reserved to the Publisher.Any other copying or usage requires written permission.