B’shert, “it is meant to be.” Despite my routine use of this joyful notion, I struggle with the “how” does that happen, by whom, by what force? Serving the TBE community as Development Vice President, is it b’shert? My parents did meet at a Hillel mixer and I met my husband while we worked at Hebrew Rehabilitation Center. I have fond memories as a young girl, reading to TBE preschoolers where my mother was a teacher. I grew up in Newton, the youngest of three, daughter of a rabbi and a Jewish educator. My home was overflowing with laughter, lively debate, Jewish books and art, Jewish ritual, doing mitzvot, and addressing issues of social injustice. I am sentimental, reminiscing about breakfasts on cold mornings in our family sukkah, Shabbat blessings and holiday meals, family Purim costumes, Jewish camp, youth group, feeling so connected, so at home, experiencing the power of relationship, community, learning, prayer and song. Connection and relationship binds me to Judaism.
Upon joining TBE over 18 years ago, Rabbi Sisenwine presented us with an invitation, “Create something for yourself separate from your child—something that connects you to TBE.” So I did and I do. He inspired me to build a home at TBE with deep and significant relationships, to actively engage in family programs, worship, text study, caring community, tikkun olam initiatives, Syrian refugee resettlement, and pathways connecting us with Israel.
I am grateful for the TBE community as it embraces and sustains me and my family. I see TBE staff and clergy handprints on my children’s character, values-driven decision making, and relationships as they were practiced and nurtured at TBE & NFTY. I feel clergy and community kindnesses when celebrating simchas and when experiencing losses. TBE members are resources of clarity and vision when seeking remedies to address injustices and to build teams for action toward building the world as it should be.
So, is it b’shert that brings me to this moment? Yes, and accepting this opportunity to engage in the work to sustain this community that sustains me and my family. I see and experience the fragility of our world and I want to ensure that the TBE community has what it needs to go from strength to strength for my family, our community, and for those I have not yet met.