by Jeremy Moser
On May 19, 2019, we were pleased to celebrate Lag B’Omer by burning our mortgage—ten years ahead of schedule! Our multi-generational event included an end-of-year school parade, including graduates from years past; beautiful songs; a tree planting (the tree was donated by our amazing garden committee); dedications by our rabbi, lay-leadership, and capital campaign leadership; a bonfire (of course!); and great food. Many of the dedications discussed the importance of our next steps now that our mortgage is cleared. We now must concentrate on developing our endowment—always a challenge but an essential for healthy future stability. Even with the cold, wet May weather, all were very cheerful.
We are a young congregation, founded in 1986. After renting buildings in four other locations, in 2005 we purchased the Sawyer School building—showing our commitment to having a permanent home. In 2009, we completed construction on our fully accessible campus with its surrounding gardens and the largest library devoted to Jewish subject matter in Maine. All guests are welcomed in our building, which has been recognized around the world as an unusual and beautiful sacred space.
It is hard to emphasize enough just how important it is to our leadership and to our community of donors and volunteers that newcomers to Southern Maine are able to discover Congregation Bet Ha’am as we did—a warm, welcoming, and inclusive Reform Jewish Community.
We know that together, the generations of committed congregants will continue to make our home a place where Reform Judaism will expand and thrive. As one congregant stated, “We are now truly our house of the people!”
L’dor Vador! From generation to generation!