Can you go home? This is a question many of us have pondered. I have asked that of myself since I returned to Temple Beth El as the Nursery School Director. Have I come home?
In 1963, I moved to Rockland County with my family. My parents, Ruth and Bill Weltman, had purchased a new house in Pomona and searched for a temple for us to join. They decided Temple Beth El, the "liberal synagogue", was the place for our family. My parents, Jill and I began attending services in the "old" Temple Beth El in Spring Valley. In retrospect, it was our new house and Temple Beth El would become our new home.
Within a few years, our then young Rabbi Frishman and Cantor Weinflash (our spiritual leaders) officiated many High Holy Day services, Purim carnivals and Shabbat services at our "new" Temple Beth El home.
While in college, I came home for the High Holy Days and Saturdays, in what we called "our seats", surrounded by friends who became like family. Outside of TBE, we celebrated holidays and special occasions with them and vacationed together.
When Don and I married, Rabbi Frishman and Cantor Weinflash officiated. That year I started working at Temple Beth El Nursery School. Within four years, Alyssa was born and was "named" at Temple Beth El. At one year old, Alyssa was in the first Mommy and Me with six children in her class. Our son, Adam was born 3-1/2 years later and he attended a much larger Mommy and Me class, also taught by me. All four of Ruth and Bill’s grandchildren (Alyssa, Adam and their first cousins, Erica and Evan) graduated from Temple Beth El Nursery School. All four continued their Jewish education in order for all of us to celebrate their B’nai Mitzvah at Temple Beth El, as did their nursery school friends and family.
Temple Beth El was an important part of our lives. My Dad (affectionately known as "Pop" to many) is a Past President and remains a lifetime member. My Mom (affectionately remembered as "Ruthie") was also active on the board for many years.
Temple Beth El has been our community, our home. And … it is a community that welcomes everyone! The feeling we get when we walk into Temple Beth El is one of warmth, caring and a sense of belonging.
After twenty-four years at Temple Beth El Nursery School as a teacher, I left to be the director of another synagogue’s nursery school. During that time my daughter and son were college bound, yet they stayed connected to their TBE friends. Three years ago, Alyssa and Michael were married. A Temple Beth El toddler class friend was her bridesmaid.
I have returned to Temple Beth El as the Nursery School Director. The fourth generation of my family, our grandson Ryan, will become part of this special place. He is starting Mommy and Me in September.
So, to answer the question … can you go home? When it’s Temple Beth El, you can!
Please feel free to come in to visit with me at school. MY DOOR IS ALWAYS OPEN!!