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A Few Reflections

I had intended to send this right after the holidays. The crisis in Israel required a different kind of CyberTorah. However, I still feel there is a place for gratitude and appreciation. So, here is my thank you to this amazing community.

As the holidays conclude, I am filled with gratitude for the Kol Emeth community. Here are a few areas that have moved and inspired me.

Quality of Welcome. This is a time of year when new people explore the Kol Emeth community. People are being welcomed and embraced. A number of people have made it their goal on Shabbat or at an event to talk to the new people and to let the Rabbis know that someone new is here. Lisa Peckler, Rick and Tina Dinitz, Lisa Kolbe, Dale and Dara Perlman and so many others embody the ethic of welcome that is Kol Emeth. I consistently hear from newcomers that they feel immediately welcomed and included.

As the community renews itself, it is easy to take this welcoming quality for granted. I suggest that you too are needed as a greeter and welcomer. Even if you’ve been here only a short time, the sense that people have of being noticed, welcomed, and invited in drives a feeling of connection and a desire to support our community. I urge you to greet people you don’t know. I urge you to invite someone new to sit with you at kiddush or an event. And feel free to alert me, Rabbi Graff, or Sarah Miller when you see a new person. We always like to say hello to anyone who is at KE for the first time.

Spiritual Intensity. The singing and praying this year have been deep, meaningful, and inspiring. When the leader is singing something energetic, the community has been quick to respond with our own energy, even clapping to the beat. In the moments of quiet, people have been focused, intent, and supportive of each other’s prayer needs. I am grateful to our daveners and to all of our participants for bringing their spiritual energy and intensity.

Community of Gratitude. People made a point of thanking people who led, who parked their cars, who made sure we had food. I received dozens of emails telling me that people were grateful for the holidays. I also noticed Maytal Miller thanking our team for all the work at Sukkot. Or Betty Adler emailing Risa and program team with appreciation. Or sincere, heartfelt gratitude for Pepe for preparing the Rosh Hashanah seder.

Noticing the good is a spiritual practice. It encourages people to see the impact they are having on others and what is being valued in their behaviors and practices. It is also inspiring and motivating. I believe Kol Emeth now has a culture of gratitude that motivates our team and our people.

I have found this series of Jewish holidays inspiring and meaningful to me. I am grateful to everyone who helped make the holidays so meaningful and to everyone who made the time to come out and celebrate as a community. There are many choices of how you can spend your time, and it means a lot that you chose to celebrate and pray and sing with the KE community.

May this year be filled with health and blessings for all of us.


Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi David Booth

Sat, December 9 2023 26 Kislev 5784