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The TBE Blog

By Eric Rosen

I am a new member of TBE and feel as if I have found the “nirvana” of synagogues

From the moment I walked in the door at TBE, I have felt welcomed and stimulated. My first encounter was a couple of years ago, when I attended Friday night services and was welcomed graciously by Susan Karon with whom I had spoken earlier and knew I was attending, and I sat with a few friends who are members. Cantor Sufrin’s singing and chanting, the depth of spirituality and joy, the Shabbat sermon delivered by Rabbi Saphire – they were all wonderful. Prior to joining, I also took a class with Rabbi Sisenwine and found him to be an excellent teacher and my classmates’ participation superb. I renewed my relationship with Rabbi Sherman with whom I had studied at Hebrew College when he was in rabbinic school. And I have enjoyed meeting other clergy and members. I worked with Rabbi Saphire on interfaith dialogue, a passion of mine.

Valuing Jewish traditions & principles

Except for a brief rebellious period between college and age 30, Judaism has been central to my life. I was raised in an extended family with an observant grandmother who lit Shabbat candles and baked challah every Friday until 10 days prior to her death. Reading Elie Wiesel’s short story, First Royalties, brought me back to the sacred role of Jewish traditions and values in my life. Right after, I became a Jewish Big Brother, mentoring a young boy without a dad. My father was killed six months before I was born while serving in the Navy during WWII, and my deep-rooted Jewish values inspired me to help a fatherless boy.

Supporting TBE directly from my IRA

I believe deeply in supporting Jewish institutions to ensure Judaism survives in the Diaspora. My Jewish values have also shaped my commitment to support institutions that feed the hungry and care for animals.

I am older than 70 ½ and have an IRA. Under the new tax law, I am not able to itemize my charitable deductions, so my financial advisor informed me of the advantage of using the qualified charitable deduction. I contribute to TBE directly from my IRA which is a worthy tax benefit.