“Food, friendship and Judaism – if you feed them, they will come””
“The two things that are most important in our lives are family and faith — and Temple Emanu-El is truly our larger family and place of comfort. Actually, for both of us, the Temple is where Judaism begins — and it gives us purpose through a Jewish lens and provides the foundation to be a better person. It has been Allan’s life’s guide to care for others, be a good person, and bring joy to others. Therefore, it is so important to us that we all invest in our congregation. It is not as important how much we give, but supporting our synagogue shows that we value who we are as a Jewish people. “Mary Virginia and I moved to Birmingham from Montgomery about 9 years ago. Having a strong Reform Temple is incredibly important to us and it was paramount for our kids to have a good, rooted, spiritual foundation. Being involved on the Grafman Endowment Fund Board in recent years has helped me understand what an essential and strong support system that our endowment provides for our congregation — it truly is a key component that allows our Temple to operate and thrive. When you look at our facilities, our staffing, all the programming and enhancements, you begin to appreciate how a strong endowment enables a congregation of our size to do things that we wouldn’t otherwise be able to do.
For both of us, our Temple has been more than just a house of worship, it has been our community or “Temple family” for many years. Since moving here from Cleveland, we found that just like us there were so many people in our congregation that didn’t have loved ones in town to celebrate the holidays. So many people just like us that needed to be together and have a connection.
With Sherron’s pleasure to cook, the idea dawned on us to create a Break-the-Fast experience at Yom Kippur. There are many people who come to worship just once a year at Yom Kippur, so we created an endowed Break-the-Fast Fund, knowing that “If you feed them they will come.” We love starting the new year together with our congregation enjoying a meal. It makes you feel so good, for just one day, for people to have “family”.