What It Means to Me to Be Part of This Temple and Part of the Jewish Community by Erynn Gandleman

ErrynnGI’ll admit that at first, going to temple and going to religious school was not my idea of a Friday night or after school activity. But looking back on that now, I don’t know what I was thinking. About a month after confirmation class started, I would walk into school in the morning all happy and hyper. My friends would wonder why, and I would tell them, “It’s Monday. I’ve got Hebrew High tonight.” Yes. I actually enjoyed Mondays.



It’s true. You learn something new each day. Going down to Washington, DC, we learned different traditions and different ways to celebrate from other temples all over the U.S. When we went down to Camp Harlam in 8th and 9th grade, we made new friends and learned more about ourselves and Judaism. Just being surrounded by other Jewish people, especially teens around my age, really means something to me. There is always something to talk about, similarities, someone else who actually understands what you’re thinking. Being a part of the Jewish people is extraordinary, to me at least. There is always a sense of connection and peace.

Being a part of this temple is another story altogether. It’s not just a temple, it’s our temple, my temple. Becoming involved with RTSY helped show me that I can have a say and a role in Judaism. Now seeing my brother growing up and becoming a bar mitzvah next year, I hope he feels the same way and stays as an active member of the Jewish community.

It’s hard to find words to describe how I really feel being a part of the Jewish people. All I can say for now is, I’m really glad I am.