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Gratitude and Commitment

Stephanie De Falco with Tony De Falco

I recently dreamt that my entire family was at a Rockdale event…some sort of milestone celebration for young children at the temple. I don’t remember many details, but everyone was dressed like Trojans, so maybe it was a Hanukkah-Maccabee-themed activity?? When it came time to take our family photo, we could not find our eldest son Samuel. We were pressed for time, so I looked around the room and spotted my friend’s son—one of Samuel’s closest friends. I asked if he would step in and be in our family photo, and he agreed. We gathered together and someone snapped our picture with our “surrogate son” in the frame. When I woke up, I thought about how bizarre my dream was, but above all, I was moved by the underlying message: I cared so much about my friend’s son that he was just like family. I quickly realized that that funny dream pretty much summed up Rockdale Temple for me!

From the tight-knit community and holiday celebrations to Jewish learning and Hebrew lessons, leadership opportunities and strong friendships, we couldn’t begin to quantify the number of ways Rockdale has enriched our lives over the last seven years. In just a short amount of time, our family has enjoyed so much of what Rockdale has to offer…and it’s undeniable that many of these opportunities have been made possible by generous congregants who have made giving to the temple a priority over the years. They recognized the many roles that Rockdale plays in the lives of congregants and determined that their contributions—no matter the size—could enhance this. We began to wonder if we could demonstrate our thanks in a similar way.

And that’s where the Create Your Jewish Legacy Campaign came in. It was the perfect way to show our gratitude and commitment to Rockdale. Truth be told, we signed up anonymously. We didn't need any fanfare or thanks, or to be celebrated for this decision. On the contrary, it was perfectly satisfying just knowing we were doing our small part to ensure Rockdale’s successful future. Then recently, we heard about the new piece of art that is going in the lobby of Rockdale. This new installment will beautifully display the names of congregation members who have made a commitment to the temple by participating in the Legacy Campaign. We thought, "What a great opportunity for our children to see that Rockdale is not just where we celebrate FoRT Shabbat, attend Sunday School and celebrate with other families at the annual Family Retreat!" Soon when they enter the synagogue, they will be able to find our names on the wall and know how much we value Rockdale and its longevity. They will know that we want Rockdale to be there for generations to come. They will know that Rockdale is a priority not just for our family right now, but for future families, too. We can’t think of a better way to show our support for the temple than to invest in its future.

As for right now, we look forward to making many more special memories with our fellow Rockdale congregants…and that might just include running around with our kids while wearing Maccabee tunics…

Thu, December 1 2022 7 Kislev 5783