Temple Israel celebrated the graduation of twenty-five students from our Jews By Choice Programme.
The class spent a year of intense study during which they learned to master Hebrew reading and studied different aspects of Jewish belief and practice. Our celebrations took the form of a Declaration Ceremony on Friday 4 July before the Shabbat service and culminated in a celebratory Shabbat service the following morning during which the graduates led the prayers and were called to Torah.
We welcome them into the Jewish community and we are excited to have them and their partners as members of our congregation. Each graduate brings with them their unique interests, skills and ideas and we look forward to their contribution to our ever growing and exciting congregation and indeed the broader Jewish community.
It is heart warming and encouraging to welcome into our midst individuals who have voluntarily elected to join the Jewish people.
My Jews By Choice journey
by Danelle Datnow
The JBC course has been such an amazing and fulfilling journey for me and my family. It took a considerable amount of juggling kids, work and family life, which was by far the most challenging part for me. I thoroughly enjoyed Jewish Studies with Rabbi Malcolm and understanding the deeper meanings of Judaism. Learning Hebrew was difficult at times, but a privilege to have learnt it.
My family and I regularly attend shul services and the festival celebrations, which my two young boys thoroughly enjoy. I am amazed at how they have grown to love going to shul, especially the Chessed and Rina services, where they are enthralled by the musical instruments, the beautiful music and they get to play with their friends. One of their favourite parts of the Shabbat is lighting the Shabbat candles and they love the opportunity to do so at shul. This year I am looking forward to being part of, amongst other things, the Temple Israel Challah Bake committee and putting my baking skills to work!
It has been quite an amazing journey to have been part of this past year, with a lot of hard work, commitment, sacrifices and less family time, but in the end, it has all been so worthwhile and such an important and significant time in our lives. I owe it all to my family, friends and Temple Israel — thank you!