This month we are completing the formal programming of our 60th Anniversary as a congregation. While the first worship service actually took place on August 23, 1957 (which we will celebrate as well), our year-long celebration sought to honor the hard work of the original founding members who spent many months before that first service to conceptualize the philosophy and by-laws of Houston Congregation for Reform Judaism.
As it was for the original 37 families who set us on our way, so too it has been for us! This year-long celebration has brought our community together through work and cooperation. Our fifteen amazing events have helped us to generate a stronger sense of community, build leadership, expand congregational engagement and broaden our vision for the future. Fun-filled activities for members of all ages have enabled us to learn more about each other and even meet each other’s pets. These celebrations also enabled us to raise over $55,000. We are grateful for the support that everyone has brought to this incredible year.
As we look back on sixty years, we can take great pride in the fact that we have served the Jewish community well. Central to our mission is an effort to embrace all who enter our doors, and for over half a century, we have remained steadfastly committed to this core value. In all that we do and in every program we plan, we strive to be intimate, inviting and inspirational.
This past year has come to remind us that Houston Congregation for Reform Judaism is a place to call your spiritual home. We are a family of families with relationships rooted in shared experiences. We are dedicated to the ongoing cultivation of new and dynamic ways of engagement through worship, study, social programming and acts of loving kindness. From infants to seniors, we seek to engage individuals with opportunities to explore the values and customs of our heritage while building life-long relationships with each other, the synagogue and God. Like a family, we seek to support each other in times of need and celebrate our blessings in times of joy.
This congregational family is central to nurturing our God-given capacity to have a positive impact on each other and the world. This is our legacy. It is rooted in the past, anchored in our membership today and is something worth preserving for the future.
Our year-long 60th Anniversary celebration has enabled us celebrate all that we share today, and in the spirit of honoring who we have become and what we still hope for the future, please consider leaving a legacy gift for the HCRJ of tomorrow. Like those who stood here before us, it is now our turn to consider ways to ensure that our children and grandchildren will have the same firm commitment to Judaism and its ethical values as our ancestors did before us.