From TBT President Jeanne Freeman
Another New Year. Another opportunity for teshuvah. Turning to look back and then looking forward. Do we need to make corrections or adjust the course that we are traveling? When we created our Mission and Vision Statements more than seven years ago it was about creating the community that we wanted to become. Did we succeed?
Community - Gemilut Chasadim
We especially support our Jewish community, valuing friendship, diversity and the social enrichment of Jewish life.
We have created a community that cares deeply for its own members and for the greater community beyond. We are a community that is connected on many different levels. We are a community of friends that have forged meaningful, long-lasting, intensely satisfying friendships with other temple members that we value and enjoy. We stand by each other in sickness, in celebration and through all of life's cycles. We cook and shop and drive for those of us in need of help. We work and play, laugh and pray, give and take together.
Education - Torah
We greatly respect lifelong learning of Judaism, Torah, Jewish holidays, Jewish heritage and culture, and the Jewish experience.
We come together at all ages to learn in Religious School and Hebrew School, in Adult Ed and Finding Our Connections programs, and in Torah Study. Mastering Hebrew, learning about the Jewish holidays and customs, meeting Mavens and learning about other charitable groups.
This past year, we joyfully celebrated eight adults and six kids who became b'nai mitzvah - a celebration of the culmination of Jewish learning and being called to the Torah. We are fortunate to have an excited group of Kindergarten through 2nd graders in our Religious School who give us promise that it will repeat in 6 or 7 years. Our BBYO kids are continuing their Jewish learning, creating their own connections.
Are you excited to continue learning? Join us for a new approach to Torah study on Friday mornings when we will discuss Torah in the context of Rashi's commentaries.
Worship - Tefilah
We sincerely cherish uplifting religious experiences in Jewish observances and events, enlivened by musical instrumentation and our congregation united in song.
Our worship services bring us together in a multiple of ways. We share in exquisite musical services with gifted musicians who lift us in song. In Tot Shabbats with potluck suppers. In Shabbat@Home dinners that introduce us to new friends and allow us to learn more about old friends.
Do you want to try something a little different? There are new things happening in our worship. Come to our new monthly Saturday mindfulness service. Our worship expands with the addition of meditation to center us in Shabbat and poetry to enhance the experience.
Social Action - Tikun Olam
We generously invest resources, time and energy in a host of nonprofit organizations through social action, caring about the wellbeing of our local citizenry and helping to heal the world.
Ask any among Central Oregon's homeless population and they'll tell you that TBT members serve the best breakfast in Bend (at Back Door Café) and a delicious dinner too (at Family Kitchen). This year we are participating in more than feeding those who are hungry. We are working with other non-profits that serve families, children, seniors, the environment and more. Join us for Havdallah with a Purpose and learn about some of the good works performed by organizations in Central Oregon and how you can get involved.
So, are we living up to our Mission? I think that we are. Is our mission still valid? I think that it is and it has guided us in becoming the synagogue that we wanted to be.
Wishes for a healthy and happy New Year to all.