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Grateful to be a Part of the Rockdale Community

Barrie Kraus

As I sit down to write this piece for the Bene Israel Society, I am thinking about the Women of Reform Judaism monthly meeting that I just left. In this meeting, we talked about upcoming events to be planned, ways to gather virtually and in person, how to collaborate with other committees in the congregation and ways to support our local community and even a community abroad. I got into my car feeling grateful to be able to participate in moments like this. I am proud to be a member of this creative community.


Many of you who know me, don’t know that I grew up without a typical Jewish education or connection to a specific Jewish community. When I was a child, my parents belonged to a Reform congregation long enough for my older brother to have the minimum education required to become a Bar Mitzvah and then left skid marks on the front staircase as they hightailed it out the front doors of the building. (My mother may have a different story to
tell, but this is how I remember it.) Believe it or not, I begged them to let me go to Sunday School, but I was met with resistance. Ask my mother, she will confirm. As a preteen, on one of the many evening walks my dad and I would take, I approached the subject again. He shut the conversation down with this message: “It’s not required for girls to have a Jewish education. Bat Mitzvah is an egalitarian social construct and is unnecessary.”


Well, while his assessment may be technically correct, his motivation to be disengaged was clearly a motivator to the opposite for me. Over the years, I tried various ways to become involved in Jewish communities, but none like Rockdale. The Rockdale Temple community has provided an inviting, warm, safe, non-judgmental environment for me to learn how to be an engaged Jewish adult and parent. Many of the members in this temple family have provided the role modeling I needed to accomplish this. My Jewish journey is still evolving, but I have thoroughly enjoyed sharing in what it has meant to my four amazing kids.
 

It is for this reason that I chose to make a legacy gift to CYJL, Create Your Jewish Legacy, on behalf of Rockdale Temple. Although I have only been a member of this historical congregation for 21 years, a blip in our timeline, it is important to me to be able to say I participated in creating a strong financial future to this treasure in the Cincinnati Jewish community. Any member of Rockdale can participate in this very important legacy program. I would urge all of you to take a moment and reflect on the impact Rockdale Temple has had in your life and what that impact could mean to your families in the future. I urge you to ask questions and learn about the Bene Israel Fund, how you can get involved, and what it means for future generations of Rockdale families.

Thu, December 1 2022 7 Kislev 5783