Take Part in Our Community

By | October 20, 2019

We exist to bring personal and communal
meaning to life. We exist to heal, to comfort, to ease the challenge of life,
and to challenge the ease of life. Stephen Wise Free Synagogue is a really amazing place for families. We often have grandparents, parents, and
children all together to celebrate being Jewish in a very playful, engaging, warm
atmosphere. We have this back and forth between the generations that really
strengthens us all. The Early Childhood Center is really the engine of the
synagogue for many of our families. It’s their entry point into the synagogue.
They learned about our school first and they realized the wonderful and warm
community that we offer to them. What’s amazing about our religious school is
the sense of connection and community that our teachers and students create
with each other. Our students get to know one another. They create friendships that
last long past their time here in the synagogue. My trip to Israel last spring
has been perhaps the most meaningful aspect of my Stephen Wise experience.
Together with six other congregants and surrounded by family, friends, and members
of the Stephen Wise community, I chanted from the Torah in honor of my bar
mitzvah. Kulanu is a program at Stephen Wise for
children who are on the autism spectrum. It is an amazing opportunity for these
students to come together, learn, and engage in Jewish life. In the Kulanu
class, we’ve had three Bar Mitzvahs including my sons which was,
you know, one of the greatest, most emotional, and satisfying days of our, you
know, in our family’s life. We have the most magnificent people, who are part of our community, who have very strong commitments to Jewish life and to
repairing the world. The Next Step Men’s Shelter is a program within the building
at Stephen Wise Free Synagogue where five nights a week,
up to ten men come and sleep in a clean, safe environment for about nine months
out of the year. It has been at Stephen Wise Free Synagogue for over thirty
years now and that whole time it’s been led by our congregants. We joined Stephen Wise Free Synagogue about thirty five years ago because of the synagogue’s
commitment to tikkun olam and social service and social action. We easily get
as much out of it as the men who stay in the shelter. The Emergency Food Program
is a program that we hold every Shabbat morning where people in need line up
outside of our building and we give our guests a package every single week of
the year. I’ve been doing it 20 years from ’96 till the present and I’ve been
here about ten years. Every week, every Saturday, we hand out bags to about 70
people. We usually have a nice array of volunteers. I’ve been here for about all
my life, ten years. Never in my life have I met a group of
people as intelligent, compassionate, diverse, interesting, and committed to
Judaism as the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue community. My hope is that future generations will
be able to experience the many open doors of the synagogue that my peers and
I were able to access for I truly believe that Stephen Wise has sculpted
me into the person I’m proud to be today. It is because of your efforts that I
have been able to have all the many wonderful experiences that have helped
to form me as a person and as a Jew. Like King David before us none of us is too
small to make a difference. All of these programs that we do are part of the
Jewish obligation and a core principle to reach out and try and repair the
world and make the world a better place.

One thought on “Take Part in Our Community

  1. Kmarty2000 Post author

    "Muh, anti-semitism" says the pale white Caucasian Bolshevik murderers. And a big shout-out to Bolshevik Jews like Karl Marx, Leon Trotsky, and Vladimir Lenin for creating Marxism/Communism, and slaughtering 80 MILLION Russian Orthodox Christians. By the way, let's not forget that fake shooting from Tree Of Life Synagogue last year; here's a link: https://archive.triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-allegheny/active-shooter-drill-planned-for-thursday-night-in-squirrel-hill-darlington-road-to-close/


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