By: Deborah Siegel
When I first came to Temple Emanu-El I sensed the community’s warmth and inclusiveness, but was not sure if I would fit in or ever feel that I was truly a part of things. However, over time in attending Shabbat services, joining committees, participating in the Adult Institute, attending social programs and chatting with other members it became clear to me that I had found my community.
While I was raised in a home that strongly identified as Jewish (we belonged to Reform congregations and I went to religious school two days a week from preschool through high school), I came to Temple Emanu-El unfamiliar with Conservative services and practices. As a new member, it all felt a bit alien to me. No longer! At Temple Emanu-El it is perfectly fine for me to say, “I don’t know this. Please explain it. Show me how to do it.” I have been welcome to make mistakes and stumble while trying to master knowledge and skills. It is fine for anyone to plug in only to those activities that have appeal. That openness to individual differences and diversity warms my heart.