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Why We Love Adat Reyim

Sarah Berry & Jacob Waxman

My family started looking for a spiritual home and identified three local synagogues to visit. We only made it to one. After our first time at Congregation Adat Reyim we knew it was the right place for us because of the people we met and the feeling we left with. We have a baby and a four year old. When life is busy and we miss going to services for a few weeks, our son notices and asks us to go to Adat Reyim! He has learned to love the stories and sounds and flavors of every holiday, including Shabbat, and we are happy to belong somewhere he has made friends and feels so comfortable to be himself... energy and all. When our daughter was born, the support and joy received from the community was heartwarming. Her Baby Naming was especially wonderful because the ceremony was held on Rabbi Aft's last, and Rabbi Glazer's first, Shabbat with Adat Reyim. I look forward to being part of our community for years to come as our parenting journey continues and our children age into Religious School. As arts lovers, we are also very pleased to have gifted musicians and composers in the community who have been part of bringing excellent concerts to our congregation. It is a blessing to have Adat Reyim be a place for culture, community, and for our children.

Harriet, Benjamin, Carolin and Daniel Vorona

We love Adat Reyim. It truly is a Community of Friends where we felt welcomed the minute we stepped into the building three years ago. I joined with three teenagers and we immediately got involved, attending services, the many wonderful community events, and the teen program. Last fall my daughter and I had a mother/daughter B’not Mitzvah. Standing on the bimah, next to my daughter, was one the most meaningful and touching moments of my life.

We received so much love and support from the community, the leadership and staff. We feel very blessed to call Adat Reyim our spiritual home.

Amanda, Ari and Daniel Charney

We are grateful to have such a supportive and dedicated Jewish community right in our neighborhood. My son’s Jewish education and Hebrew study is enriched by the excellent teachers and tutors, and we have all made new friendships and connections that will last a lifetime.

Loretta Stein and Josh Green

We found our spiritual home at Congregation Adat Reyim very shortly after moving to the area as an Active Duty military family. Our internet search led us to Adat Reyim, and when we called the office, we were immediately invited to the annual ShaBBQ that night! When we arrived, we received an incredibly warm welcome by multiple members of the congregation while enjoying Shabbat dinner and the celebration of the completion of a rejuvenated sanctuary. We also met several other young couples and military families that helped make us feel right at home.  

After being engaged and spending much of the prior 3 years apart while one of us was stationed overseas, we were ready to have our Jewish wedding and knew Adat was the place we wanted to hold our ceremony. The entire staff, president, and rabbi were so accommodating and helped make our day so special!  We have continued to be involved in various activities from the Young People’s Chavurah group, decorating for the Purim Spiel, participating in the rabbi search committee and on the board. We continue to be amazed at the time, energy, and care that members of the congregation pour into the community and synagogue. Most important to us is that we try to attend Friday night Shabbat service as much as possible because we find that it helps keep us grounded as individuals and connected as a couple. We are grateful to have found Adat Reyim and the community will always hold a special place in our hearts, no matter where military life takes us

Steve and Valerie Schwartz

Once upon a time, in 1980, Steve and Valerie Schwartz moved to Burke, VA with their two kids– 12 year old Janette, and 11 year old Elliott. With Valerie’s “encouragement,” they looked for a place for Elliott’s Bar Mitzvah and they found a group just forming - The Jewish Friends of West Springfield, meeting for services in rented church space. The Jewish Friends soon became Congregation Adat Reyim. Elliott became the congregation's second Bar Mitzvah – and the rest is history.

Steve almost immediately became the first long-term President, serving two years.  However, he never stopped coming to Board of Director meetings – probably wanted to protect that first $75 investment.  Our social lives and friendships revolved around Adat Reyim activities, as they continue to do today.  Even daughter Janette became involved with assistant teaching in the religious school, and was the first paid secretary/receptionist.  Son Elliott’s two children attended the preschool until entering public schools.  Valerie joined the choir at its inception (about1982), and continues to be its longest-serving member.

Steve continues to greet old and new members alike, usually at the front door of the synagogue, usually at Friday night services.  While he doesn’t know all their names, he takes pride in knowing more members’ names than most.

While nothing lasts forever, Steve and Valerie initiated Adat Reyim's Legacy Program to help to assure that future generations will have additional funding as it may be needed.

Susan and Mike Bigman

We consider ourselves "secular" Jews and so rarely attend any services.  So why have we remained members after our children have finished religious school? There is so much involved in being a member of Adat Reyim beyond services and religious school. Our sense of connection with this small, vibrant congregation has grown over the years through involvement with the preschool, junior youth group, social action events as well as participation on the board. We have long-lasting friendships that began here.  And most importantly, in this time of growing antisemitism, we feel it is crucial to support a visible, positive Jewish presence in our community.  We are proud of taking part in "Tikkun Olam" activities and having our rabbi lead community interfaith events that promote good will and a progressive public image.  So for us Adat Reyim is not just religion, it's kinship and pride.

Jennifer Regelman, Rachael & Joshua Getz

I love the  warm, family atmosphere of Adat Reym and I am thrilled to raise my kids in this wonderful community. We love dancing on Simchat Torah to the voices of Shir Reyim.  Adat Reyim encouraged us to get involved early on and I've had the opportunity to support membership, communications, and fundraising.  I even sang, acted, and danced in our Purim Schpiel!  My daughter was Bat Mitzvahed in 2020 and received so much knowledge and support from the amazing Religious School. My parents are members, too, and they love Adat Reyim as much as we do!

 

Eileen and Larry Kugler

Larry and Eileen joined Adat Reyim in the ‘80s as a family with young children and it became a central focus of our family life.  Our involvement has only increased over the years. Adat Reyim has been our community, a place where we know there are people who care about us and support us. It’s been the first place we want to share a simcha. It’s been our refuge during challenging times. It’s a place where we have friends we’ve known for decades, and where our lives are enriched with new friends of all ages. 

Adat Reyim has always provided us the opportunity to grow and learn. Eileen has led services, run countless programs, served on the board, and read Torah. Larry has also been active lay leader and founded Shir Reyim, our folk group of singers and instrumentalists who lead our Spirit of Shabbat monthly services.  Now we are excited to be working with lay leaders of all different ages and experiences to collaborate with our new rabbi as we move our welcoming, engaging congregation into the future.  

 

Rhonda Suls

I love Adat Reyim for so many wonderful reasons which are as follows:  I have been a member since the early 1990’s and joined because I was looking for something meaningful in my life at the time. I was welcomed warmly and introduced to many members.  I became very active in the synagogue which I feel is a key role.  I took many classes, had my adult Bat Mitzvah, worked on several committees and also served on the Board of Directors.  The Rabbi and many of my congregant friends took good care of me during my year-long hospital stay.  Congregation Adat Reyim is truly a “Community of Friends”.

Thu, December 3 2020 17 Kislev 5781