Open Tent – March 2021

Neighborhood Connections

Doris Jacobson

It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood… Won’t you be my neighbor? I have always wanted to have a neighbor just like you… I’ve always wanted to live in a neighborhood with you” — Mr. Rogers.

Last summer and prior to the High Holy Days, Temple Beth El launched its Neighborhood Connections program. Temple Beth El is proud to be warm and welcoming and with Neighborhood Connections, we are helping to ensure that all of our members are engaged with each other in a meaningful way.

Thank you to our co-chair, Linda Herman, Vice President Engagement, and Maura Lowenstein and to all of our Neighborhood Connectors, who are reaching out to their neighbors to enrich and deepen the connections between people within the Temple Beth El community.

Through Neighborhood Connections, we are connecting people within their neighborhoods so that we can get to know each other better. We’re all spread out at TBE geographically. When we can meet at the Temple face to face, distance is less important. But we don’t always know the TBE member who may live around the corner or down the hill.

We hope that by connecting our neighbors, not only will we get to know those TBE members who live close to us, but perhaps when we are together again, we will share a Shabbat pot luck, light Hanukkah candles with each other, or perhaps drive to Temple together. Within Neighborhood Connections, each of us has a local community that cares about us.

We have identified 26 TBE neighborhoods and our Neighborhood Connectors and volunteers have delivered gift bags before Rosh HaShanah, Hanukkah, and Purim. In addition, our neighborhoods have come together in break-out groups for a special Havdalah, on the first night of Hanukkah, and on Purim.

We are hearing wonderful stories about neighbors meeting neighbors. Several of our connectors bring their children with them when they deliver the gift bags. They want their children to also meet their TBE members and to understand the value of community and caring for each other. We are hearing about new friendships growing and old friendships enhanced.

We hope that you have connected and are finding this to be meaningful for you.

If you would like to have your Neighborhood Connector reach out to you, please email me at

We are still seeking a few more Neighborhood Connectors in RPV. If you would like to be that special person who connects your neighbors, please contact me also.

We all share TBE in common and the relationships being enriched are sacred.

And that’s what Neighborhood Connections is all about!