About eight years ago, just before the High Holidays, I received a call from a gentile friend of mine asking me if I would like to accompany his wife, who is Jewish, to Rosh Hashana services. Fully expecting me to say NO, he was surprised to hear me answer YES. I hadn't been to High Holiday services for many years, so I thought I would give it a try. I found the service to be interesting and invigorating and Rabbi Gerson's sermon made perfect sense to me. I asked if she had an extra ticket for Rosh Hashana morning and so I went to that service also. Same result!! Rabbi Gerson hit another home run and I had another positive experience.
I went to Yom Kippur services, talked with someone on the membership committee, and had my questions answered. I started going to Torah study on Sunday mornings, started a few months later attending the Sunday morning minyan.
I joined the Temple about six months later. I now attend every Saturday Shabbat service that I can, attend Rabbi Weiss's Saturday classes, and some Friday night services also.
As the years have gone on, I have served on the Temple Board of Directors, served as chair of the Adult Education committee, serve on the finance committee, worship committee, and the nominating committee. I feel that I have grown spiritually far beyond my greatest expectations, am still learning Torah, and by-and- large have become a more complete person.
Along with my official responsibilities, I also have some unofficial offices that I have undertaken during my years at the Temple. I am the unofficial punster of the Temple, usually coming up with appropriate (and sometimes inappropriate) puns during teaching sessions by the clergy. I am also the resident heckler of our leaders during services or any other inappropriate time. I feel that his keeps them on their toes and keeps the audience awake during sermons that may need some editing.
More seriously, I go to services frequently because among all the other benefits, I enjoy watching our Temple youth as they become Bar and Bat Mitzvah because this is the future of our people. We have a 3000 year old tradition that I really want to continue to future generations. I have made many new friends over the last eight years and I feel that the Oak Park temple members are my family.