What does Solel membership mean to me?

by Robbin Botnick, June 30, 2017

As we begin a new fiscal year and each of us determines what our financial contribution to Solel is going to be, we may be asking ourselves: What does membership in Solel Congregation give to me or my family? As the new president, I also have to ask myself: What does Solel give back to our members? What drives each of just to become a member may be very unique, however, there are many common things that define membership in Solel:

  • A home for Jewish worship in Mississauga
  • A place to study:
    • Prayer services a minimum of 3 times a week plus holidays and festivals
    • A Judaic and Hebrew school that has been recognized as a model for other congregations
    • All age programming from tots to seniors and all congregants in between
    • Adult education and learning sessions taught by our Rabbi, Rabbi Emeritus, Educator or guest speakers
    • Bar/Bat Mitzvah training
    • Confirmation/Kallah classes
  • A dedicated full time professional staff, which includes a tenured Rabbi, a full time Educator, and a full time administrator and custodian
  • A Senior Rabbi Emeritus
  • A place to spend time with other Jews in our community
  • Access to all high holiday services and programs
  • Community acknowledgment, celebration and rabbinical support of lifecycle events
  • Yahrzeit remembrance of loved ones
  • The ability to purchase a cemetery plot(s) at Pardes Shalom or Meadowvale Cemetery
  • Sisterhood
  • Youth Group
  • Camp Support
  • Solel Weekly and Monthly Shammas
  • The ability to give back through Community Support and Tikkun Olam

Membership does provide all of these things and more, but perhaps it is the things that we cannot put a box around that really defines membership, and for each of us the things that we consider important might vary. For me, membership is about building and being part of a community. It is about creating a space where we can congregate as Jews and where our children can spend time with other Jewish children. For many of our children this is the only interaction that they may have with other Jewish kids. Solel is a place for our kids to play and learn and bond with other Jewish kids. Membership gives us all the opportunity to ensure that we can teach our children what it means to be Jewish and hopefully by doing this we can keep the reform movement strong and vibrant. As adults, Solel also offers us community. It is a place where we can learn and study with other Jewish adults. It is a place where we can develop strong lasting friendships with other Jews not just through prayer and study but through social events and interactions. It is a place where we can connect with Jews in our local community but also connect with the broader Jewish community. Solel offers us a community to celebrate life cycle events with, including, births, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, engagements and weddings. Solel also provides support as we mourn the loss of our loved ones. Solel is a place where you can ask for help and someone or many in our community will step forward. Solel is a place where we strive to ensure that no one is alone; if you are sick, someone will come and visit or reach out to make sure you are okay. If you need help our community will be there for you. Solel offers a Jewish home to all who come through our doors. Membership for me is all of these things and so much more.

I would like to hear about what membership means to you and what we can do to ensure that you get the most out of Solel. Please email me at president@Solel.ca and share your thoughts or give me a call I would love to talk to you.

Have a wonderful summer!


Filed under: President's Message

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