Presence is the foundation of relationships, helping to build a strong congregation

By Betsy Frank

Betsy Frank is UHC para-rabbinic fellow and president.

During the High Holy Days, I spoke about being present in our community, throughout the year.

Presence, however, involves more than just occupying a seat at a religious service. Presence is the foundation of relationships.

Judaism, meanwhile, is a religion predicated on relationships — with the Creator and to the Torah, including mitzvot directed toward relationships with our earth and all its inhabitants.

A minyan is nice, if you can get it

Even our religious practices are built on relationships. We can pray alone, but our liturgies are built upon the notion that more than one individual must be present.

In fact, Orthodox and Conservative congregations require a minyan, or 10, for a full service.

We can pray alone, but our liturgies are built upon the notion that more than one individual must be present.

Many small congregations such as ours hold services even if 10 aren’t in attendance. But our services may be more meaningful when more are present.

Being present allows us to build relationships within our community, to learn about one another, celebrate with one another, and support one another during difficult times.

Community interaction fosters new ideas

Building relationships can promote creativity, which can enhance our relationship to Judaism.

How can we build relationships within our community? What creative ideas do you have that would enhance our congregation?

Yes, relationships are essential to sustaining our Jewish community. Be with us as we sustain our community for years to come.

Shalom,

Betsy Frank

Photos

Break-the-Fast is a popular tradition following annual Yom Kippur services at UHC. Congregants and guests joined Student Rabbi Remy Liverman in the Vestry Room this year for bagels and lox, herring, kugel and cake.