The Naked Synagogue

by Roselyn Allen, October 28, 2021

There are 8 million stories in the naked city…

How many Solel stories do we have?

Many of you know that my Solel story all began with wanting to find a hamishe Jewish community for myself and my son. Then Arliene Botnick called and asked me to come on to the Bet Sefer staff. I had the greatest time in grade 2 (even when my son was there) and enjoyed Chris Bowden’s trips to Israel every year. We had a great bar mitzvah and, my son and I continued on working at bet sefer. And then I joined the board.

We all have our synagogue stories and they all are the stones that make the pathway that is Solel. As we approach our 50th anniversary, the Solel@50 Committee hopes that you’ll share your piece of that mosaic.

And as much as we make up the stories of Solel, there is also a piece of our own stories that Solel has played a part in. I feel like Solel has given me a strength in leadership outside of the synagogue itself. Through prayer and study, through thoughtful Dvar Torahs delivered by both Rabbi Englander and Rabbi Pollack over the years, I feel I’ve been able to reflect on my parenting, on my role as a child and sibling, wife and friend.

During this year’s Yom Kippur services, Rabbi Pollack talked about the 20 questions “Do You Know” scale to see whether your kids have a sense of belonging within your family. It was a really great opportunity to sit with my children and see if they knew how we met, and how their grandparents met and tell stories to fill in the gaps. We’re lucky to have had many such thought provoking Dvars, presentations, discussions in Bet Sefer, through adult learning opportunities, special services, etc.

And, as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. So if you can share your stories in photos as well, that would be great! And artwork. I still use a kiddush cup and hannukiah from the junior grades at Bet Sefer made by Maks. I have had parents tell me that they still have something they made in Bet Sefer, when their own child brings their artwork home – please send a photo!

Or perhaps you’d like to express your thoughts, feelings, sentimental journey through Solel in poem, painting or whatever medium you’d like.

Share your stories and personal reflections on how you and your family fit into Solel and the ways in which Solel has affected your lives. We would love to hear Solel’s history from those who live it.

Filed under: President's Message

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