On New Year’s Day, our family spent part of the afternoon watching old family videos. We started with videos of our annual summer road trips and then explored a number of birthday parties. Part of the fun was watching how each of us has changed over time (that is, everyone but me as I am always behind the camera). The other shared joy was reminiscing and recounting memories associated with each of these events. It’s amazing how many additional family stories can be discovered when we take the time to remember them.
So, too, it is with the collective memories of a congregation. Over the course of nearly sixty years, our community has shared countless memories around holidays, lifecycle events, social programs and more. With multiple rabbis, strong personalities, challenges in temple politics and shifting trends in liturgical music, Houston Congregation for Reform Judaism has become a treasure trove of stories and memories which are begging to be shared.
Our Director of Music, Dr. Jane Becker, is the longest continuously employed member of our professional staff and, as such, she bears witness to countless tales from the pulpit to the pews. For thirty years, Jane has had the joy and the challenge of shaping the musical elements of our worship experiences under the vision of four different rabbis, dozens of boards and countless critics. On Friday night April 8, we will be honoring Jane for her years of devotion to our community with a special Shabbat service and oneg, and a significant part of this special evening will focus on thirty years of memories.
Coupled with this Sabbath trip-down-memory-lane will be a celebration of our ten years together at HCRJ. This event will take place on Thursday night, April 7. This evening of fine food and music promises to be an event to remember as we reflect on a decade of my leadership (and roast me, too).
Please save April 7 and 8 on your calendars. Each event invites us to find joy and laughter in the sacred act of remembering.