Now a resident of Omaha for almost three months I cannot say that I know many people well. But I do know love when I see it. This is what I saw when more than thirty teens came to temple for our new Temple Teen Night (TTN). Our social hall is often standing room only as our 3rd-6th grade family school participants, 7th and 8th grade students and TTN (9th-12th) grade students come together for our Wednesday night dinners. It is the busiest time of the week at temple and it feels wonderful to be around such a large, vibrant and caring community.
But as wonderful as our dinner is together, it cannot top the words shared by our 9th-12th graders at the conclusion of our first TTN. We asked every 9th-12th grader to share their name and one word that summarizes what being at temple means to them. “Warmth” … “Love” … “Inspiration” … “Family” … “Happiness” … and the words of true love continued.
This is not to imply that every minute of Religious School for these veteran students has been like Disneyland. It is simply to say that while they were studying for the Bat Mitzvah, while they were learning about Israel and while they were playing dreidel all those years, they were also falling in love with temple. Just as it is a joy to sit with a couple as they ask me to officiate at their wedding, it has been a joy to see our teens come together on Wednesday nights to connect with the people and place that they love. And as for my one word to add to the mix, it is simply AMEN!!!!