Question: What is the single biggest challenge of shul life?

Hint: It involves your children and grandchildren.

Answer: To engage them after their Bar or Bat Mitzvah, so that they remain Jewishly connected and inspired in grades 8 through 12. At stake is their and our Jewish future. When they go to college, which takes place in the blink of an eye after their b’nei mitzvah, when they are no longer under your roof, will they still want to live as Jews?

For the past 12 years, our children have been the beneficiaries of something that has worked magically at connecting our children to their Jewish future: Prozdor. Hundreds of our children have found inspiration, connection and community at Prozdor because of:

  • excellence in teaching
  • wide array of choices, from Hebrew to history to Israel to art and music
  • huge numbers of teens from all over the Commonwealth
  • great informal education, whether trips to Poland or New York, or shabbatonim, that cement group identity

The vibrancy of Prozdor these last 12 years has flowed from the pioneering work of its leader, Margie Berkowitz, who brings together in unique ways head and heart, formal and informal Jewish education, and an ability to relate to parents, students, and faculty. Margie is retiring, and now is our opportunity to thank her.

On Sunday, June 5, at Congregation Mishkan Tefila, from 6:30 to 8:30, we will host an evening that will offer the community a taste of Prozdor—not only the Torah it has taught and the identity that it has nurtured in the past, but also that it is teaching and is nurturing today and in the future. That evening the community will witness first-hand the extraordinary teaching and inspiration that Prozdor provides our children and grandchildren. We will learn from one of the star teachers and hear from Prozdor kids themselves. They will show us, not just tell us, what Prozdor means to them.

There is an important mitzvah called hakarat hatov, thanking people for the good. Margie Berkowitz has inspired our children and nurtured their Jewish identity, so that their Jewish journey will continue when they are on their own. Please join us to say thank you, and to rededicate ourselves to the timeless and noble work of preserving the Jewish future, the yiddishkeit of our children. You can find more information and register to attend at the event’s website. 

I look forward to seeing you on June 5.