Beth Tzedec's outgoing Shinshinim wrote this farewell message to the Congregation. We wish them the best of luck as they prepare to return to Israel. Be sure to join us as we send them off at the upcoming Family Shabbat DInner.
Over the past 10 months, we have had the privilege of being a part of the Beth Tzedec community. When we first came, we had no idea what to expect. As two secular teenagers who have only been to shul a few times in Israel, the word Synagogue sounded pretty intimidating and the words “Conservative Synagogue” were not familiar.
In addition, there is no need to explain how enormous the synagogue is - one of our first experiences in Toronto was speaking on the High Holy Days, in front of a full Sanctuary. Standing there on the bimah, barely able to see people’s faces, made us wonder how we could ever integrate into this huge community. Yet from the moment we arrived, we have been welcomed with open arms.
From week to week, people got to know more about us and we got to know more about individual people, which helped us feel more and more a part of the community. The divrei we have done every week led us to many interesting discussions with community members, and even though we just finished high school last year we were lucky to know that our opinions actually matter to people here. The Bar/Bat Mitzvah program we took part in enabled us to get to know young Canadians and let them see Israel from a different perspective. In the Congregational School, we were able to let kids who go to public school see Israel in various ways and we learned a lot from them too.
Throughout the different events and programs at Beth Tzedec we have learned and experienced so much. We saw the beauty of Conservative Judaism and a community. We feel like we gave a lot, but got back so much more. We are thankful for the opportunity we’ve had and we promise to bring with us to Israel everything we got here. We will be sure to tell others about our experiences and about this amazing community and your deep connection to Israel.
Our time in this warm and amazing place has been wonderful. We are very thankful to have been here and to get a new perspective of Judaism and way of life. Our time here has been life-changing and we are very thankful for that.
We're still looking for hosts for next year's Shinshinim! If you are interested in hosting Alona or Gal, please contact Daniel Silverman at 416-781-3514 ext. 231.
You can get to know our incoming Shinshinim with this video they shared with our Congregation.