Open Tent – September 2021

Reaching Out to the Community

Doris Jacobson

As we prepare to welcome the new year of 5782, we’d like to reflect on the goals of Open Tent, our achievements and our future.

TBE’s Open Tent program began shortly before the pandemic last year. A special thank you to George Mayer, Open Tent Chair, and his dedicated and hard-working committee who have continued to enhance meaningful relationships among our TBE community and throughout the larger South Bay community. Their vision, creativity and love for TBE made Open Tent committee meetings a safe space for dialogue and planning.

We may still be greeting each other on Zoom or at a social distance; however, we continue to have the opportunity to significantly strengthen relationships. We have the opportunity to share our Jewish values by embracing the community within our walls and those who are outside of our walls.

The Reform Movement refers to the Open Tent concept as “audacious hospitality.” Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President of the URJ, defines audacious hospitality as “an ongoing invitation to be part of our community and a way to spiritually transform ourselves in the process.”

Here are the main ways that Open Tent has achieved this:

Neighborhood Connections

A very special thank you to all of our Neighborhood Connectors who are enhancing meaningful relationships among their neighbors. Thank you also to all of the people who deliver our special holiday gift bags. In the last year, neighbors have connected through holiday break-out groups. We even had a neighborhood Kahoot tournament! When there is a need among our neighbors, our Neighborhood

Connectors have been there to help. Our Neighborhood Connectors welcome new members to our community and help to enhance their relationships within the TBE community. Under the guidance of Linda Herman, VP of Membership Engagement, Neighborhood Connections will play a vital role within the Membership Engagement committee in the future.

PJ Library

TBE is proud to partner with PJ Library. Is your child or grandchild enrolled in PJ Library? Free Jewish books are sent monthly to children from birth to 8 years old. Children 8 1/2 – 12 years old will receive monthly chapter books of Jewish interest through PJ Our Way.

TBE is partnering with PJ Library during Cantor’s story times. We hope to share TBE’s many programs with families who, although they are not yet affiliated, might be seeking Jewish experiences. No matter one’s Jewish background, PJ Library will enrich your family’s life.

JBabies is the newest edition to the PJ Library family. We look forward to TBE being part of this newest endeavor which brings expectant parents and parents of newborns together.

To sign up for PJ Library, go to this PJLibrary link, or these links for information on the LA chapter, or For additional information, contact

MENsch Club

The MENsch Club, chaired by Jaime Lowenstein, is continuing exciting programming. Our last program introduced the community to 4 Jewish vintners in the Napa Valley who shared their experiences with us. The MENsch Club has started the tradition of having a journey speaker at each event. This is a wonderful way to highlight a TBE member and is a greatly anticipated part of each program!