Friday, April 4, 2008

The One Item Not on the Checklist: A Synagogue

So there is this Checklist (of sorts). This is the list of reasons and circumstances that you go through to decide whether to do "something." Our "something" is Move to Mexico for 1 Year.

There is one item that is not checked. There is no Synagogue in the area in which we are moving. From my web research, there does appear to be a Jewish Community and there is even a name and phone number to call.

We are what I would call observant Reform Jews. Having a Jewish home and providing a strong Jewish foundation to our children is very important. Practicing Judaism as a community is a fundamental part of the Jewish doctrine. So what are we to do?

(1) Judaic Study - Husband and I both teach 4th Grade Religious School classes this year. Our children have been in Jewish Preschool or Religious School always. We feel we, as their teachers, can continue their Judaic Studies fairly easily.

(2) Holidays - Because there have been Jews in Diaspora since biblical times, Judaism is quite portable and can be practiced in the home easily (with some effort.) We will continue to have Shabbat, Sukkot, Hanukkah, Tu B' Shvat, Purim and Passover at home. Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur will be a bit more challenging but we will manage. We have Other American Family who are also Jewish to share our celebrations!

(3) Hebrew - Oldest Son would normally start Hebrew Lessons in 3rd Grade. These lessons will have to be delayed one year. We feel that it may be a bit of hard work upon out return to America but doable.

I actually feel like the time away is an opportunity to focus more on our Judaism. I have a grand vision of us on the beach doing Havdalah every Saturday night ...

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