Recently I was reading the Jewish Federation of Collier County newspaper and was amazed at the number of opportunities to connect to the Jewish community of Naples and Ft. Myers, Florida. If you wanted to see Israeli films, learn mahjong, hear fabulous speakers or just meet new friends, you had a buffet of options.
It hit me that just about anywhere you go there is a Jewish community—Singapore, Savannah, Lisbon, Havana, Honolulu. Whether we are permanent or part-time residents, or passing through on our way home and whether we choose to connect or not—Jewish communities have resources available to us. Synagogues, Federations, chavurah, Hillels, Chabad and JCCs offer connections. I know that when my parents traveled overseas, they always made it a point to visit the local synagogue or make a connection to the local Jewish community. When I was younger, I wondered why these stops were part of their itinerary. Now, as a parent and grandparent I understand.
Knowing that there are “members of the tribe” or “landsmen” in these foreign locations helps to ease the fact that we are “strangers.” By making a connection, we were unconsciously saying, “We are your relatives; we have a commonality; even though we might not speak the same language or eat the same food, we are all family.” It is that sense of comfort, familiarity and genetic memory of our ancestors that links us.
Our Indianapolis Jewish community offers connections through our magazine, website, flyers, phone calls, tweets, emails, our agency programs and services and our synagogues. Whether you are young or mature, there are ways to be linked to a caring community. You are a part of the Indianapolis Jewish family!