From Rabbi Lotker

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Invite Your Friends to the Jewish Community of Ojai!!!

I have often said it: you can be a “Jew by Choice” (i.e., one who converts to Judaism in contrast with the rest of us “Jews by Chance”) but you cannot be a “Jew by Self!” Jewish tradition has always required that we join together in community; in fact, certain prayers are said only in the company of a community. Thus Jewish Law requires that a Minyan of 10 adult Jews is necessary for one to even properly mourn the passing of a loved one by reciting Kaddish. I am often asked, “why can’t I pray alone in my home or even in nature?” The answer is that you can of course. But it is not enough to simply pray alone. You and I are God’s representatives in this world. On any given Friday night, you might not feel the need to be in the synagogue, but I can guarantee you that there will be someone there who is in search of the support of their community. In addition, by being together we can strengthen each other in our task to improve the world. This leads me to the subject of membership.

Membership is the heart and soul of any Temple. A healthy membership means that we are doing what our founders, our congregation and our God has put us here to do – to serve the Jewish people and this community. But we need your help! Help us get the word out to your friends and neighbors that:

-----We want them in our community!

-----We want members of all types: young and old, married and single, traditional families and the not-so-traditional, interfaith, Orthodox, Conservative, Reform or Reconstructionist. As the only liberal synagogue in Ojai, we welcome you all!

----We want you with us at services, adult education, holidays, picnics, events and more!

----We want your talents in support of our community and in support of our God-given mission as Jews – Tikkun Olam – to heal and repair this troubled world.

----We want you irrespective of your financial resources. No one will be turned away for financial reasons.

So why am I pitching this on our website when I know most of you are already members? Because I want you to tell your friends about our little Temple. Only if they know what you already know can we grow and provide services that they and you will need and enjoy. We hope to expand our services, expand our programming to truly be the home for Judaism in our community. But we can’t without the support of more of our community’s Jews. So please do your part and bring a friend to the Temple. I promise that you and they won’t regret it.