One Year Later…

003It’s hard to believe that a year has passed since our fire. So much has happened in this time and so much more is going to happen. Our building is starting to take shape and we are very excited to share updates with you throughout the process.  Before, there was not much to see, but as the walls start to be framed, as the ceiling and roof start to take shape, as design is implemented, we are able to see the future of where we will soon be gathered together.

Thank you to our entire TBS community for being so supportive, flexible, and loving during this year. You have moved around with us as we carried our Torah to various congregations and locations throughout this year. Our motto: “have Torah, will travel.” We are so grateful to the LDS community in Orange for embracing us and allowing us to be partners in their space. Our High Holy Day services were filled with all of our community and some who just wanted to be with us and support us. We are grateful to the Orange County Jewish community for opening their doors for Shabbat and B’nai Mitzvah celebrations.

But we have not been completely down at 2625 N. Tustin Ave. Our religious school and preschool programs continue to thrive under the direction of Jodi Kaufman and Pam Ranta. The rotunda school building buzzes with the laughter and voices of our children. And our rotunda building has been used in ways we never thought about until one year ago. We held our annual fundraiser in the rotunda, a wedding and celebration in the rotunda, Purim spiel and carnival, Shavuot and Selichot potluck and movie night. Who would have imagined that this outdoor space was so versatile and inspiring? Truly a hidden gem on our campus.

The journey continues to bring us back home with one of the best machete out there. And as with any great project, we have to be patient. There are so many layers involved. From the architectural design to the construction details to raising the funds necessary, each one adding a complex layer to the next. All this could not be done without the strong team of our Living Legacy Committee and TBS Board. These 028groups continue to work at a tireless pace to bring us back home again and I could not be more honored and proud of this amazing group of leaders. No one signs up to rebuild a building after a fire and move at the pace we have needed to move in this year. This is why I am so thankful to all of these leaders for their time, their patience and their persistence.

We are not only rebuilding our building, we also have this great opportunity to rebuild ourselves as a community. From the ashes comes opportunity and it is up to us to take that opportunity together.

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Our congregational vision statement is that we are a “Jewish Center of Life, Learning and Connections.” With that in mind, as we ALL rebuild our congregation, not just the walls, what do these three things, Life, Learning, and Connections mean for you? Who do we want to be?  How do you see these three important aspects of our identity brought into what we do in the future. We can create great programs, but a program lasts only for a set time. How do we build Jewish life together?

Please take a moment and comment on this post and share your thoughts with me and our community. Remember, together we build our community and we make it what we want and what we need it to be. Jewish living is not only within the space we build, Jewish life is who we are every day and every moment.

Yes, it’s been a challenging year, but from the ashes come blessings. May we be blessed in all that we are and all that we are to become.