A Raging Flame to Illuminate the Future
I’ve spoken over and over again about the importance of Jewish camping in building Jewish identity. Learning isn’t done in a classroom; it’s accomplished by activities and discussion. Judaism is internalized as if it came as naturally as inhaling and exhaling. I would love to see our day camp population double its size. I would love to see every child in our congregation spend at least one 3 ½ week session at a Reform Movement camp. (We can add my desire to have every child visit the Religious Action Center, go on a mitzvah trip like the one we’re taking to Kentucky, participate in at least two NFTY events, and spend part of a summer in Israel.)
I live in a strange world. My colleagues in larger and wealthier congregations ask how our kids do so much. I want to ask you: How can we see to it that our kids do even more? Shortly after I arrived in town, we celebrated three anniversaries connected to our congregation’s history. Our theme, based on Jewish numerology (gematria), was Ner L’Atid, a candle or light to the future. Well, the children are our future, and I don’t want to settle for a candle anymore. I want a raging flame to illuminate that future for our kids so we can collectively honor our commitment to perpetuate our people mi-dor l’dor, from generation to generation.
Rabbi Jack Paskoff serves Congregation Shaarai Shomayim in Lancaster, PA.
Originally posted at RJ.org