Eric Imley & Gale Swartz, Co-Presidents
We are in the midst of many changes here at Temple Beth El. This can be very exciting yet ﬁlled with uncertainty. It is important to remember and reﬂect on the strength of our community and our mutual commitment to making our collective future an even brighter one. We would like to focus on the sacred partnerships which help to make our TBE a Kehilah Kedoshah—a holy community.
TBE is a member of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) so, we have many resources available to help us in our holy work of forming Sacred Partnerships. This is the deﬁnition according to the URJ, “Sacred partnerships recognize each of us as individuals and our desire to inspire sacred action in our community. Sacred partnerships are built and nurtured through the Jewish values of mutual respect, trust, honesty, listening and communication, conﬁdentiality, ﬂexibility, and reﬂection.”
Some examples of our holy work are: pursuing Social Action/ Social Justice, educating our youth and adults, providing our teens ways to ﬁnd their voice and their place in the world, supporting families through Sisterhood’s Caring Committee, serving on the Board of Directors, the blessings of our clergy as they minister to our spiritual needs. Holy work accomplished in sacred partnerships can be found everywhere if we look with a slightly diﬀerent focus and perspective.
Sacred partnerships and the principles they are based on, can also be found in our interactions with one another in our personal lives. Think about your relationship with your spouse or signiﬁcant other: is this a sacred partnership? What about your relationship with your children, parents, and siblings? What about those very close friends who you choose to call family? Do these also apply to your involvement with organizations or causes outside of TBE?
In our busy lives with many demands and distractions, how do we ﬁnd the moments to slow down and recognize the blessings of our own sacred partnerships? For us, it can be found in those late evening phone calls when Gale is in her PJs and Eric is walking his dog, Anna. For some, it may be that early morning cup of coﬀee before the day starts, a Shabbat Service, a walk in nature, coming to TBE for an extra dose of hugs or singing shema to your children (or grandchildren) at night. We would love to know some of the ways you slow down, reﬂect and appreciate these special partnerships in your life. It would be wonderful to be able to share some of these thoughts in future spots in the Kol Beit El.