Kvell Corner

A chance to Kvell and not Kvetch…

Chai marks the spot

Kvell Corner is back!  Kvell is a Yiddish word that means to take pride in and enjoy as opposed to another Yiddish word – kvetch which means to complain.  I have so much to kvell about in this life.  When you look at life in this light, there is so much to talk about. So let’s talk! I’d love to hear from you.

Today, I want to tell you about my hometown and the small Jewish community that lies there.  When pirates looked for buried treasure, they searched high and low for that “x” in the ground that marked the spot.  In my hometown of Turnersville, NJ, searching for something Jewish was like looking for a buried treasure. 

Although there were not many Jews in the community, the synagogue I grew up in became my treasure chest.  Physically, there was not much to see – 1 sanctuary, 3 classrooms, 2 powder rooms and a kitchen area – 7 rooms total.  We nicknamed it “Bnai Wawa” because that was about the size of the entire building. 

Yet, a big “chai” should mark the spot there because our little Jewish community was filled with life and ruach (spirit) and it still is today.  I remember our homemade Purim carnival games and costumes, getting caught by our youth group leader while playing a kissing game at a sleepover, and my mock wedding in Cantor Fredrich’s 6th grade class. 

This community is about to go through a major change.  This month, my former shul will move to a bigger facility, combine with another synagogue and close its doors on the tiny building that I knew so well. 

As I get older, I realize more and more that the treasure I found there had little to do with the building itself, and more to do with  the people who created that special community.  I think this is true for all synagogues – big and small.

I could spend hours sharing with you the memories that are dear to me.  If I took you for a tour of that synagogue, I could show you the exact spot where I fell and needed 4 stitches in my forehead (explains a lot, right?!).  But, I would rather tell you about the people who took care of me that day when I was in tears.

 My current shul is 10 times larger than my former synagogue, but  in some ways they are very similar.  I truly believe it is very much about the people of our community (and all religious communities) as opposed to the building where they are located.  Should it matter that our community is housed in one of the largest synagogue facilities in the Philadelphia area? No – it shouldn’t and it doesn’t.  Get to know the people and you will see that it is how large our hearts are – and not our building –  that makes it so special.

June 7, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Not so old and wise…

It is a sad day when a veteran White House correspondent shows her true colors on a day that is supposed to honor the Jewish people. These anti-Semitic remarks from a once respected journalist make me realize that while I value my elders who are old and wise and full of experience – if they do not have a filter, common sense or decency for humanity – what good is their wisdom?

June 7, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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May 3, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment