Come Aboard, We’re Expecting You…
Everyone keeps asking me what I do as the Youth and Family Engagement Director, a position that’s heretofore never existed at BJBE. When I was recruited for this position, and after hours of discussion yielding vague specificity, Rabbi Kedar loosely, ever so poetically defined the need. You know how she is, that sage visionary of ours; she told me I needed to engage the people.
The simplest way to explain what fills my days is that I am entrenched in three areas: I encourage overall family engagement experiences. For instance, I am helping Rabbi Stoller lead the January 10-12 Family Kallah. Towards this goal, I am staff liaison to two Board committees: Membership Services and the Center for Social Justice; I strive to fortify our teens as I guide our youth group advisors; I work to strengthen the education of all our students with teacher/machonik training and curriculum support as Chai School Principal.
For anyone interested in a behind-the-scenes peek at the progressive thinking amongst our educators, volunteers, and clergy about connecting our teens to Judaism, I recommend the article Science, Drama, & Rock 'n Roll at reformjudaismmag.org. Before joining the BJBE staff, my career was in education. The vision the Sandy Robbins’ Education Task Force articulates clinched the deal for me. It is my privilege to help create a new and powerful model for lifelong Jewish learning.
As I grow into the position these first few months, a central role I see for myself is as dot connector. Through conversations, observations, and witnessing the extraordinary dedication expended all day every day to the multiple layers of holiness at BJBE, I am assisting you to make the most of your experience.
Todah Robah to the grown-ups, teens, and children who’ve taken the time to share your thoughts, passion, concerns, and questions with me. My door remains firmly open to whomever wishes to have these conversations. I look forward to the opportunity to hear from you so we can partner together, enabling me to best point you in the right direction, or assist you with what you’re already up to.
Ultimately, I envision helping fellow congregants of all ages to locate meaning and purpose at our big beautiful house of worship. In my capacity as a sort of spiritual Julie McCoy of BJBE, (Google Love Boat if you don’t know what I’m talking about), I have a front row seat to the generous, dedicated, thoughtful, energy that’s buzzing in our Temple community. For those of you who haven’t yet found your place, Come aboard, we’re expecting you.
Youth and Family Engagement Director
BJBE Honors Dr King with Service Projects.
Here is the Deerfield Patch article and video.
Watch the highlights of BJBE's day of service to honor the memory of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Deerfield congregation organizes more than 100 members to participate in six projects in Deerfield, Highland Park, Highwood and Lake Forest.
Members of the Congregation B’nai Jehoshua Beth Elohim’s social action committee hoped to get 30 people together for service projects today in honor of Martin Luther King Day and more than 100 showed up.
That gave event organizer Kelly Goldberg a good problem. Originally the group was meeting at the synagogue and fanning out into the community working at the West Deerfield Township Food Pantry, Bernie’s Book Bank in Lake Forest and the Deerfield Public Library.
As and more and more people signed up, Goldberg got on the phone and added Gidwitz Place for Assisted Living in Deerfield, the Moraine Township Food Pantry in Highland Park and the Nuestro Center in Highwood.
Listen to Goldberg talk about the effort and see some of what the group did on a Patch video.