One of the things I love most about Temple Beth El is the degree to which our teens assume responsibility for the work we do as a congregation. They are highly skilled and dedicated teachers and worship leaders. They are an integral part of many projects that benefit the community and are proud representatives of Temple Beth El in Charlotte and in the Reform movement. They challenge us and inspire us — and we are a stronger congregation because of them. I feel honored to be one of the people to call myself their mentor and their friend.
On Friday, March 31st, our teens will lead us in worship and share the many ways in which they express their Judaism. Whether they do this as teachers or learners, leaders or activists, music or service leaders, they are united by their engagement in an active, Jewish communal life. Observing and listening to these teens inspires and energizes me — and I’m sure it will for you as well.
I am quite fortunate in being able to see our teens live out their Judaism each and every day. They infuse our Religious School building with energy on Sundays, Mondays and Wednesdays. They make me smile as I see them gently guide our youngest students through the halls of Temple Beth El during a Sunday School program, and then see the faces of our little ones who look up at the “big kids” in awe. I am inspired as I see our young Jewish leaders rally their peers to participate in mitzvah projects or community-building activities. I am grateful for the creativity, sensitivity, and patience they show as b’nei mitzvah tutors while helping their struggling students. I enjoy the confidence, beauty, and energy they bring to every one of our Congregational Shabbat services. And there is so much more that they do that I only get to hear about in the hallways of Hebrew High.
We often regard our teens as our Jewish future. But indeed, they are very much our Jewish present. The Friday night service on March 31st at 6:00 pm is a wonderful opportunity for our entire congregation to experience the energy, commitment, and thoughtfulness of these magnificent souls.