I am Laura Fischer, one of the Founders of Congregation Har HaShem. I am writing to tell you why our upcoming “Enchantment Under The Sea” event on April 24th, honoring Holli Berman, Barbara Gould, Katherine Schwartz and Robert Farr, is such a well deserved honor for these four wonderful people. I hope I will get to see you that night.
Along with other proud Founders, I have watched Har HaShem grow from a small group of people to over 500 member families. Some of our times were challenging, but together we have emerged as a wonderful and vibrant congregation. Barbara, Katherine, Holli and Robert have been with us on this journey for the last 13 years. Their personal contributions towards our success and the character of our congregation are enormous. Their partnership with Rabbi Bronstein and our members has created a remarkable congregational family. The blessing of Rabbi Rose’s arrival just makes our future even brighter.
How do we measure the value of these special people?
How do we measure the value of Holli’s spiritual call to prayer when she brings our congregation together with her beautiful voice, heartfelt prayer, and teachings? Who is not uplifted by the rocking band, Or Zimrah, or the sweet children’s choir she has organized? Who is not inspired by her triumph over adversity, and the sheer good spirit that radiates from her? Which Bar or Bat Mitzvah family is not grateful for how she helped a child become an adult in the most nurturing way?
How do we measure the value of Robert’s behind the scenes work in our office and with our clergy? Who can forget contacting Robert and receiving a calm and collected response that addressed your needs and brought stability to so many things? How many people has he casually guided through rituals and observances that were once as foreign to them as they were to him 13 years ago? Who does not respect his musical talents and the joy he has brought to multiple communities in our area through his gifts?
How do we measure the value of Barbara’s smiles and hugs and wisdom? What impact does she have on countless lives when she and her wonderful volunteers bring food or comfort at a time of illness or mourning? How many phone calls has she made to simply say to someone that they are important and we care about them? How much has her outreach beyond our own walls meant to enriching the lives of people and promoting the best values of Judaism? Who can forget her standing in the lobby just so she can give a greeting or hug?
How do we measure the value of Katherine’s lovely smile and her energy that has created such a fine Religious School, Hebrew School and Youth Program? Who cannot see the love she has for our children and the benefits of her nurturing and educating them? How much have we benefited, and how much has Jewish education in North America benefited, from her leadership in the National Association of Temple Educators? Who can forget her special programs that bring children and their parents together in celebrating the joys of Judaism?
Our congregation is blessed to have these four wonderful people help us reach our highest aspirations in the holy work we strive to do together. If you value what these people are helping us to achieve, I hope you will join me on April 24 so we can say “Mazel Tov” and “Thank You” in person. There is still time to make a reservation, by calling 303-499-7077.
I feel blessed that I have had the opportunity to be involved in this congregation for so long. I am humbled to have been allowed to share my thoughts with you. Thank you.