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Congregation Beth HaTephila

An Engaging, Inclusive, Reform Congregation in the Blue Ridge Mountains

Religious School News - August 2021

The feeling of being home is an experience and sensation that is very important to our people.  From the time of the Exodus from Egypt through the time of the destruction of the temple, to the expulsion of the Jews from Spain, to the Holocaust and Pogroms, we have mourned the loss of a home.  And, that loss has influenced us as a people.  We have cultivated communities; personally, spiritually and professionally.  We have educated ourselves to ensure our permanence in our culture and assimilated at times to ensure our safety.  Our need for a sense of place has enriched our prayer and informed our humor!

Similarly, a sense of home is essential to the development of our children.  Knowing that you are home allows a child to develop trust and confidence to build additional fundamental truths, values and concepts.  And, while this past year, we have viewed and participated in the world from the safety of our homes, we have lost the opportunity to connect, laugh, love and learn in our second home -- temple.

As we have slowly and carefully begun to re-enter our lives, I have spent more time at CBHT.  In addition to leading services on Friday nights and B’nai Mitzvah on Saturday morning, I have split my office hours between home and temple.  Often, I venture downstairs into our beautiful Religious School home. I peek into the classrooms, most still set up from the 2019-2020 school year!  I smell that specific scent that our building has and long for a time when we are together, in that space. I can almost hear the buzz of children, teachers, parents and Madrichim.  I can imagine the hallways filled with students working on their prayers.  I can hear the jingle of Billy’s musical footgear transitioning from class to class!  I can visualize our HOMECOMING!!!

Right now, Buffy and I, as well as Rabbi and the leadership at CBHT are working hard to figure out the safest way for us all to be in-person, come September.  And while there may be some added rules and guidelines, I know that we will all feel right at home.  Please be sure to register for Religious School so that you can be a part of our grand HOMECOMING!!!

Seth Kellam,
Director of Religious Education & Sacred Music

Fri, December 3 2021 29 Kislev 5782