November 2015

L’dor vador nagid godlecha! From generation to generation we shall tell of your greatness. This sentence found in the kedusha of the Amidah is recited every day, and reminds us of the importance of Jewish continuity. It is not enough for us as adults to come to synagogue and pray; rather it is incumbent upon us as well to inculcate these values in the next generation.

On November 14th, we will have the unique opportunity to make this idea come alive at Temple Beth Sholom. On Saturday morning, we will be holding one of our special “traditional” services where I will not only be leading the traditional liturgy, but also speaking about the role of tradition in Jewish continuity. As it happens, the parsha that week is Toldot, which literally means “generations,” giving us an opportunity to weave our Torah study into this theme as well.

More important than my leading the adult service that day, my son Benjy (another generational connection), will be leading the first Junior Congregation service of the year in the Youth Lounge for grades 3 through 12. The effort to re-

establish and reinvigorate Junior Congregation is being spearheaded by our USY program with the cooperation of myself, the rabbi, the ritual committee, the youth education committee and the religious school. We will be holding Junior Congregation services every second Saturday for the rest of the year. It will meet from 10:30 to 11:30, at which time the participants will join the adult service in progress downstairs, and help lead the end of the prayers for the whole congregation.

The goals of Junior Congregation are educational, communal and spiritual, with many opportunities to practice what is being taught in the religious and day schools. We will also include activities such as Parsha Plays and other interactive Torah study, as well as reinforce other ritual skills. We hope that our older students will help instruct and model for the younger students. Although Junior Congregation is targeted at our younger generation, parents are cordially invited to attend if they wish, learning alongside their kids. Please contact me with any questions.

Rav-Hazzan Scott Sokol