Culture and purpose help small congregation inspire meaningful growth

By Student Rabbi Jonathan Falco

As January marks the halfway point in the school year, I thought this might be a great opportunity to reflect on these past few months of my tenure at UHC.

Growth, in general terms, is often challenging to measure. How are people to know whether they or their communities are in a “different place” compared to an earlier point in time?

The minutiae of everyday life often prevent us from taking a step back for moments of introspection and evaluation. Growth is also a gradual process that, in a way, contributes to this lack of awareness.

Micro steps move us forward

Meanwhile, these very “micro steps” of the growth process are what propel us forward.

As I completed final exams for this first semester of my second year of rabbinical school, I started to realize the change that can truly occur in just a small amount of time.

Coming together in times of both difficulty and joy, as we have over the course of these past months, is a basic function of community; yet, this should never be taken for granted.

I’m grateful to be a student of a profession that has always been my dream, and grateful to be studying at an institution whose administrators and faculty care about fostering a community and culture of growth.

I have no doubt the semesters that follow will leave me with a similar sense of awe. Of course, serving as the student rabbi at UHC here in Terre Haute continues to be an education in and of itself, not to mention a point of honor and immense pleasure for me.

UHC sets a good example

The sense of purpose and community that I have experienced thus far here at UHC would make communities of comparable size envious.

Coming together in times of both difficulty and joy, as we have over the course of these past months, is a basic function of community; yet, this should never be taken for granted.

The sense of purpose and community that I have experienced thus far here at UHC would make communities of comparable size envious.

Experiencing first-hand the true heart that embodies our UHC community remains a source of inspiration for me that I know will carry on throughout this new year, my rabbinical studies and beyond.

I look forward to growing together with you all and for the heart of this community to keep on flourishing as we leap into 2019.

Student Rabbi Jonathan Falco will serve United Hebrew Congregation throughout the 2018-19 academic year.

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