Busy day at the NJC with lots of folks getting ready for Religious School and improving our Gift Shop. Thanks to Sandy Brenner, Religious School Director, and teachers Tiffany Gilley, Rachel Greenstein, Walkie Rosenzweig, Judy Reznik and Lisa Weinstein Ducote, and Rabbi Nimon. Thanks also to Sandra King, Quinten King, and Jeff Brenner, who were helping with the Gift Shop, and Lynn Ducote and Elsa Bates, who were helping everywhere. Jonathan King and Isaac helped, too!
Here's a discussion from Jim Klein with a thoughtful topic for your consideration. Give us your comments here or on Facebook!
Northshore Jewish Congregation. What's in a name? NJC, as a name, refers to a geographical location that distinguishes it from the South shore. Is this what we want - to identify our location in reference to the South shore or do we want a name that helps anchor us to our core values (God, Israel, Peace) and to the life of our congregation.
Over the last couple of years we have struggled with our financial future and slow decline in membership. I am optimistic of a promising future for our synagogue. I recently read about of one of the first Reform synagogues in the United States - Congregation Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim in Charleston (1750). In 1904 Beth Elohim was founded in Georgetown, S.C., and named after Beth Elohim in Charleston. Beth Elohim started much as we did with a part-time rabbi and student rabbis. Over the years the membership dwindled to five people. In anticipation of its closure one of the two torah scrolls were sold. Through a rededication of its leaders the congregation grew and survives today as a viable synagogue.
Perhaps a name like Beth Elohim would fit us. I would like to know more about the history of how we decided on NJC - I suspect it just fit at the time - but does it fit today? I believe that we need to establish our identity for now and for the future. For those who have a difficult time in breaking away from NJC as a name, perhaps we can have a Hebrew name associated with NJC. For example, Beth Elohim,The Northshore Jewish Congregation. Our letterhead would read:
The Northshore Jewish Congregation
Note: I simply like Beth Elohim as a synagogue name and only offer it up as one possibility for consideration.