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“Once I found myself within the folds of Temple Beth Sholom, it was no longer a physical place for me; it was a deeper symbol of peace, safety, security, friendship and home.”

“For our family, Temple Beth Sholom has always been a part of each of our lives,” says Rina Mandel Bass. In addition to their children, Rebecca and Jacob, being born into the warmth and open arms of the Temple Beth Sholom family, she and her husband, Jeff, have their own long-standing history here, both individually and as a couple.

Years before they met, Jeff was a Foundation School student.  Rina’s story began when she and her brother, David begged their parents, to send them to Temple Beth Sholom. They were eager to be part of BESHTY and to rise early for Saturday SLJ school. Now, as a young parent, she can only imagine how thrilled her parents were at this enthusiasm and dreams of the day when her own children wake her on a weekend asking to go to Temple.

Over the years she became more immersed in the Temple, participating in afterschool programming, becoming a Bat Mitzvah and confirmand, traveling to Israel with the congregation, volunteering, interning during high school and working here during college breaks. Her dearest childhood friends and memories were made here. “These are the friends I still speak with weekly, and the memories we often recount”, she shares.

She tells us that “when first approached about the Legacy campaign, it may have been one of the shortest conversations the committee has had. It didn’t take more than a few words to gain our support. For us, there is no other option.”

Throughout her life, the Temple is where she would come “just because.” She’d find an old friend to talk to or a new one to make, a project to occupy her, a Rabbi to challenge her mind…resulting in finding herself discovering more reasons why Temple Beth Sholom was such an important aspect of her life.

Reflecting on her feelings about Temple Beth Sholom, she naturally calls upon her own memories. But for building a legacy, her vision is less about what Temple Beth Sholom has meant in her family’s life, but more about her children, and what she hopes it will mean to them. It’s about ensuring that her children have the same shelter that the Temple provided for them and immersing them in a space that allows them to be whoever they are destined to be; within an environment that makes it fun for them to be that person. It’s about continuing to expose them to fundamental opportunities they may not otherwise have.

Temple Beth Sholom has been a full circle experience for Rina and Jeff. Rabbi Glickstein officiated their wedding, their daughter Becca’s naming, and their son Jake’s bris. “In a world where we’re increasingly disconnected, here with so many friends being members, too, we’re all connected, keeping the circle turning“ Rina summarizes, “We all need Temple Beth Sholom, and so do generations to come.”

Sun, December 15 2019 17 Kislev 5780