Shofar (TBE Newsletter)

The Shofar, Temple Beth El’s monthly publication, keeps community and temple members up to date on what’s going on. Take a look at this month’s Shofar to see what’s coming up, or browse through the archives to see all that we’ve done!

April 2018 – Shofar (pdf)

PRESIDENT’S PERSPECTIVE (from the April 2018 Shofar)

Yom Huledet Same’ach! I was called last month regarding a possible birthday celebration held at the social hall. I do believe all birthdays are special and deserve a party, but this is not your average birthday party. This was to be a monumental birthday celebration!

I was called by Irene Christenson. She was asking for the use of the social hall on behalf of her grandson Ellis, so that he could celebrate his first birthday. I know first birthdays are quite important, because you can’t have any others until you have had your first, but for Ellis getting to his first was not a foregone conclusion. Ellis was born with a heart condition that required immediate open-heart surgery and the road to recovery is not fast, nor easy.

Originally, the plan was for the birthday party to be held at a location close to Irene’s house, but there were so many RSVP’s from people wanting to join Ellis on his special day, that the gathering spot was going to be too small to accommodate them. Temple Beth El was suggested, and that is when I got the call. I knew there was a policy about the use of the social hall, I had worked on crafting it, I just couldn’t remember all of the criteria. What I did know was, the boy was going to have his party at Temple Beth El.

Irene has been one of the jewels of Temple Beth El, Bright Beginnings and HaGan. I dare anyone at Temple Beth El to say that s/he has not be influenced, encouraged, or supported by Ms. Irene. Not only do I have fond memories of Ms. Irene from my childhood, but she also got me reconnected with Temple Beth El when I moved back to Bakersfield ten years ago. Letting me help her with B.O.O.T.Y. made me feel good about being an active participant in the synagogue, which undoubtedly played a role in my interest in serving on the board.

Anything we as a synagogue could do for Irene, and her grandson, after she has done so much for the children of Temple Beth El should be done without hesitation. This support however is not just reserved for Irene and her family but for all members of Temple Beth El. I encourage opening the doors of the Temple for these special life events to serve as a reminder that our Temple as not just a building, but a special living space where we congregate and become closer to one another and closer to God.

Ellis was not asking for presents, at least his parents weren’t, they simply encouraged donations to the Ronald McDonald House Charity. This organization was there for them in a time of great need. My hope is for Temple Beth El to be there for you Ellis in any time of need, but more importantly during time of celebration and special occasions such as this one. Happy Birthday, though you might not remember all of the festivities, I am sure it is one no one else will forget!

Elliott Magnus




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