by Rachel Lefkowitz, Synagogue Administrator
When I was a child, my family always spent Christmas day with my cousins at my grandmother’s house in Connecticut. My grandmother sold that house when I was still young, and our families didn’t get together in the same way after that. This year though, my cousins invited Jay and me to spend the holiday with them in Vermont. It was terrific to be with them again—to share stories and memories from Connecticut; to meet their very interesting, already grown-up children; to eat the delicious food these children cooked. In fact, the children were so busy setting the table, cooking the food, and washing the dishes that I barely got to talk to them.
It was lovely to just to sit and talk to the older cousins and be taken care of by the younger cousins—it felt like the height of luxury. Yet, when I realized that I was not going to make the gravy, which has been my job for twenty years or more, I got a little sad. After we left, I thought about that sadness. By not helping out, I felt less connected to the fun of the day. This shouldn’t really have been a surprise: I feel more invested in a sweater I have made than in one I have bought. But it was a good lesson to be reminded of. People at Bet Ha’am often remark that they don’t feel very connected to the community. They want us to do something that will make them feel more connected. We can and do try to provide what you might like or would expect; but truly, the best way to feel more connected is to find something that you want to do and then offer to do it. I’ll be making the gravy, if we ever need it. What will you bring to the table?