The Membership Committee helps keep us all connected to each other, whether you’re considering joining Temple Beth Abraham or are a current member.
The COVID-19 epidemic has disrupted our social and work patterns, isolating us from friends and family. Our clergy and staff had done an amazing job of pivoting to a virtual community, through ZOOM classes and meetings and livestreamed services. The Membership committee is participating, and our goal is to reach out to everyone in the community, and to offer programs that bring joy, learning and comfort.
TBA Connects is a network of over 50 volunteers who reached out to all our congregants. This is a joint effort between the Membership, Tikkun Olam, and the TBA Cares committees, and is fueled by volunteers from across our population- New members, Chai Plus Members, Board Members, young and old. Some of these calls are short and sweet, some are sad, some lead to long discussions and new friendships as we reach out to all our members in this stressful time. We will continue to make periodic calls, especially to our elders and to people in need. Please send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to join us in this mitzvah.
To celebrate Passover, a generous congregant offered to donate Passover meals to members of TBA. We were able to deliver 35 meals to seniors living alone, to older couples, and to others who were struggling with the coronovirus. The donor for these meals wishes to remain anonymous, but I want to thank Tracy Ostroff, Jennifer Molinoff, Melissa Baer, and others who joined in making this happen on short notice.
As the quarantine continued, we brought you musical programs to bring joy to our souls and programs that helped us deal with the uncertainty and stress of the pandemic. Here’s a special call-out to Glen Roethel, who brought us two concerts, one on Jewish Songwriters and Singers and another on Inspiring Songs and Singalongs. We also honor Dr. Jill Silverman who has led three sessions for our volunteers and for our members, to help us navigate this stressful psychological landscape.
This summer has been a social learning experience for many, as we learned that Covid-19 disproportionately affected people of color, and we tried to make sense of the horrible video of George Lloyd’s death. The Membership Committee is actively participating in the TBA READs project, which involves reading and discussing systemic racism in America and our role in it. We are reading the book White Fragility by Robin Deangelo, which challenges us to understand the advantages we glean just by dint of being white, and helps us move beyond the our unconscious biases to be allies to Black people in America.
The membership committee has been meeting regularly this summer, and we are planning events activities that we hope will bring joy connection. Recently we held a car parade in honor of Rabbi’s 60th birthday. Click below for slide show prepared by Bunny Solomon from her pictures of the event.
More about the Membership Committee:
Our goal is to create a warm feeling of inclusion and joy, where we are all comfortable being ourselves, together. Last year, we reached out to potential members at community events, such as the Westchester Jewish Festival and the Irvington Farmers’ Market, and welcomed everyone to Family Services for the High Holydays, Friday night (Reform) and Saturday morning (Conservative) Shabbat services, festivals, and celebrations for Simchat Torah, Chanukah, and Purim. This year, with Covid, our outreach will be mostly by social media. We’re also looking to our members to invite their unaffiliated friends and co-workers to our events, so they can experience our warm and vibrant community first hand.
The Membership committee is also focused on building connections between Temple Beth Abraham members. Our New Member Welcoming Party was a wonderful experience, with wine, appetizers and silly games to help people get to know each other. The Joyous Chanukah party connected members with live music from the Sweet Vermouths, free craft projects for kids, and a fabulous raffle. We enjoyed the latkes donated by Epsteins of Hartsdale and by Trader Joes, and enjoyed the gourmet latke cooking demo by John of The Blue Olive. On February 29th, our celebration will focus on members in their ’50s and ’60s, whether you are “empty nesters,” have no kids, or your kids have returned to the nest.
There are lots of opportunities to socialize and learn together. For example, our Chavurah program brings together small groups of congregants and we will launch the summer with a celebration picnic for the whole congregation.
We look forward to hearing from you!
The chair of the Member Services Committee is Bernice Rogowitz.