The Building Project

February 7, 2019

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The old joke goes something like this:  A pastor stood before his flock one Sunday morning.  The church’s organ had been badly in need of repairs for some time, but the budget hadn’t allowed for any expenditure.  “I have good news and bad news about the organ,” he told his congregation.  “The good news is that we have found the money to fix the organ.”  There were smiles and small cheers from the community.  “The bad news,” he continued, “is that it is still in your pockets!”

Don’t stop reading– this isn’t an appeal for money (though donations are always appreciated!).  Our Torah portion this week contains the first building campaign in Jewish history, as the Israelites are asked to bring gifts to help with the building of the Mishkan, the portable sanctuary with which they’d travel in the desert for 40 years.  And they respond, bringing gold, silver, and copper, fabric and yarn in a variety of colors, tanned skins, precious stones, wood, and everything else needed for such a building project.  Everyone “whose heart so moves them” brings their offering, together creating a place where God’s Presence will dwell.

As you know, we are moving full-steam-ahead into becoming Kol Dorot, our new Reform Jewish community.  In 19 years of the rabbinate, I have seldom seen as much energy and time devoted with such enthusiasm to one project.  In the past month alone, there have been conversations and meetings of the building and construction committee, the finance team, the education planning group, the joint ritual committee, the integration leadership, the presidents, the rabbis, the 6th grade students and their families, the communications team, and the social action chairs.  All of them have been doing great work in planning for our future!

And so the challenge to you is this – what skills and talents do you have to bring as an offering to this project?  What abilities and interests have you been “keeping in your pockets,” that you could now use in service of building Kol Dorot?  For the Israelites, the building project was a success because everyone “whose heart so moves them” contributed.  Our project, the creation of our new community, will need everyone’s input.  How do you want to get involved?  What areas of Jewish living and learning do you want to help shape?  Contact me or one of our co-presidents when you’re ready to volunteer your time, your thoughts, your hopes and dreams.  All donations gladly accepted, as together we create a community where God’s Presence will surely dwell.