Little shuls, big smiles

The cover of the Feb. 15 issue caught my eye: “The little shul that could.” I’m reading that article first, I said to myself. My passion has always been small congregations, I grew up in one in Bakersfield.

In my adult years, I lived in two small communities: one of those cities had a very vibrant Jewish community. We were an eclectic group of worshippers — lay-led services, guest rabbis, a part-time rabbi. This was Temple Beth El in Eureka. Its mission was to give its members the broad scope of our heritage. I’ve been at services where they were rocking — no cantor, just a choir. Members that had talent or musical ability helped promote some of the best services I’ve been to.

Hooray for small congregations. The article resonated with me. Temples that small in numbers have it right on. They are experts in creating a haimish (warm) atmosphere.

Susan Cohn   |   San Jose