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From Rabbi Marc E. Berkson

To Those In Search….
a personal message from Rabbi Marc E. Berkson

A story is told of a young girl by the name of Rachel who often ran away from home. Her parents regularly punished her for this when she returned. One day, however, her parents decided to follow her wherever she ran. Thus they followed her into a grove by a nearby pond where they heard her proclaim:

“Shema Yisrael, Hear O Israel” over and over again.

Rachel’s parents then appeared and asked her, “Why are you wasting your time by the pond? Why do you come here?”

“I am looking for God,” replied Rachel.

“Isn’t God everywhere?” demanded her mother.

“And isn’t God everywhere the same?” demanded her father.

“God is,” answered Rachel, “but I am not.”

When searching for a congregation, we are all like Rachel. We seek to affiliate with a synagogue, to congregate in a place where God may be the same but we (we hope and pray) are not. Success would mean becoming part of a caring community that embraces and elevates. Emanu-El B’ne Jeshurun can be that synagogue, that congregation, that community. In the words of our mission statement, “Congregation Emanu-El B'ne Jeshurun is a vibrant, spiritual home and place of learning where all individuals can deepen their Jewish identity, engage with our community and give back to our world.” May it be here, in this community, that you become different, through this congregational family, that you reach up to God, and here at Emanu-El B’ne Jeshurun, that God’s presence may truly touch you.

Please feel free to contact me, any of my colleagues on the staff of the congregation, or our membership chair if you would like to discuss our congregational family. As the oldest Jewish congregation in Wisconsin, dating back more than 150 years, we would like to share the past with you and have you join us in building our future. May you find God here, and here find life.

Rabbi Marc E. Berkson

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Sat, May 27 2023 7 Sivan 5783