Chai Mitzvah Blog

Chai Mitzvah, a new life-cycle event, deepens Jewish engagement and builds community through 5 simple steps:

  1. Monthly learning with a set curriculum which Chai Mitzvah provides.
  2. Independent study - choose something you'd like to know a little bit more about
  3. Ritual/Spiritual practice - choose something you'd like to bring into your life, or deepen an existing practice.
  4. Social Action - choose some way you'd like to give back into the community.
  5. Celebrating the journey!  At the end of the nine-month experience, participants celebrate, share, acknowledge their creative!

January 2016 Doug Kasten

I started my Jewish learning at an Orthodox Synagogue learning Hebrew when I was ten years old.  When a Reform emple opened  three blocks from my home, we became Reform Jews.  I have been a Reform Jew ever since.

My wife, Lee, and I never had children so we never experienced teaching a child about Judaism and the Jewish rituals as they went through life.  Shortly after marriage in 1976, we joined a Reform Temple in Wayne, New Jersey and have been members of a Reform Temple ever since.  However, we were never active members and, other than attending High Holiday services, we did not attend services on a regular basis.  When we joined Temple Israel in 2003, we began attending Friday night services once a month, usually on the third Friday, which is the Friday Night Live musical service.  I always enjoy singing the blessings and the other musical aspects of the service.

While I have been the Treasurer of the Men's Club for several years and this year joined the Temple Board as a Trustee, I felt there was something missing and I wanted to do more to enjoy being a Jew.

October 2015 Sue Cannon

As most of you know, I am the Rabbi’s Assistant and Office Manager at Temple Israel.  This period of learning and getting to know the congregation has been uplifting as well as challenging. 

I was excited to be offered this position, as I had a sense that I needed to do something “Jewish” after my layoff from 20 years with a disability agency in the State of Florida. 

Last November, I had the opportunity to journey to Israel, for the first time since I went to high School and college there, back in the late 60’s. I believe that G-d led me to Israel and to Temple Israel to bring me back to the core of who I am and where I belong.

When I started working at TI, I chose to change my temple membership. It seemed to make sense, and was convenient.  I did not know at the time that Temple Israel would become so dear to me in such a short time.