Rabbi Stanway received this note in early December 2011
Dear Rabbi Cy,
I was amazed at how Julia appeared so composed and confident during her cantorial experience in singing this past Friday and Saturday.
With less than an hour’s preparation, Julia went to temple with the book of music I prepared for her. John Shaeffer, our organist, was kind enough to give Julia a short rehearsal before the beginning of services on Friday night. I was truly in awe as a parent, watching my 19 year old college student glide through the service, leading the congregation in song, and chanting prayers in front of the Arc. How did this happen? I watched the faces of her Religious School teachers and friends in the congregation and I came to a realization. Julia, like so many other children at TBM, “grew up” in Temple.
Having made a family practice of coming to services at least three times a month DID SOMETHING. Julia and Leanna both knew the service, the prayers, the songs. Once I had the flu on a Friday night. My then 4 and 6 year olds wanted to go to Temple services, so I dropped them off at the front door. They immediately ran into the arms of welcoming women, teachers and friends, and I knew they were safe. I’ll never forget that night.
Attending two days a week of Religious school DID SOMETHING. I am so grateful for the vision and passion of Stella Stanway as our Principal, for the programming that made my children want to go to school. First as students and then as a teacher’s assistants, the experience was stimulating
and a spiritual awakening for both of my girls. They weren’t afraid of Torah, but embraced it with understanding and gained pride in reading Hebrew. Having a Rabbi who was available to the children and believes in a child friendly Bima DID SOMETHING. Running up with a group of friends to the Bima to sing prayers during services was a regular experience all the kids. They all gained a sense of trust and comfort on the Bima.
With your encouragement, we also had the opportunity to send our children to a URJ Summer camp. The experience gave my children a sense of belonging, love and pride, inspiration and self confidence. Their trip to Israel was a life changing chapter that they will have always. Their perspective of everything matured and they seemed to have come home with new-found wisdom, and maturity.
Last but not least, I can’t say enough about their experience in the Temple Youth Group. We as parents have so much to be thankful for
that these Groups are thriving at TBM. Together, with much love, passion and fun, the children learned responsibility and that to give back was a very valuable part of life.
I wanted to share all this with you because of my enormous gratitude for for everyone that makes this magic happen at Temple Beth Miriam.
We have profound memories that we can cherish beyond our wildest dreams. Thank you for giving a proud parent one more of these memories this past weekend.