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Opinion: A Synagogue Closing Hurts Us All

A rabbi shares his thoughts on how a synagogue's shuttering is a loss for the entire community.

Congregation Bnai Torah will closes its doors on June 30
Congregation Bnai Torah will closes its doors on June 30
Rabbi Evan Moffic, of Highland Park’s Solel congregation, wrote an op-ed this week about the closure of a once prominent synagogue. Patch readers responded to the post in droves.

Below is an excerpt. You can read his full post here.

When we lose a house of worship, we lose much more than a building. We lose a place of joy, of civic engagement and character-building. We lose a generator of social capital and intangible spirit that makes a neighborhood and community more than a collection of private homes. …

The challenges to traditional synagogues are daunting. Parents can hire private tutors for a Bar or Bat Mitzvah. They can find an online religious school for their kids. And if we are empty nesters, we might rather save a few thousand dollars and find a free place to attend high holy day services. Elected officials might even see income potential in the replacement of non tax-paying institutions with businesses or residences.

I hope the remaining houses of worship will meet the challenge. A synagogue is more than just a place of worship or life cycle events. It shapes the culture and feeling of a community. It reminds us that life is about more than how big our house is and how close to the lake we are. It transcends the boundaries of class and school district and brings people for a purpose larger than themselves. When one falls, we all experience the pain.”

McCloud June 24, 2014 at 05:08 PM
You fellas at the R festival must have had fun acting that one out. Trouble is, you need more of a Medieval approach for that to make the story go with those chain beards you recently purchased. Lose the brown shirt theme and you've got something fun this summer, I'll try to avoid the big turkey tent since I know you guys hang near that.
Just Sayin June 24, 2014 at 05:31 PM
McClown...Did you cover that dream with your shrink? It's just as ripe for analysis as the other. Man...do ever have a long road psychological healing ahead of you.
McCloud June 24, 2014 at 05:47 PM
Hey, I might have a uni cycle for the jester in your group. I know it's an anachronism, but seems to entertain the crowd whilst juggln the ball my lord.
McCloud June 24, 2014 at 05:58 PM
How about juggling two large turkey legs and a black ball with chain, wait a minute, dost I write your entire act? The king would not be pleased.
Just Sayin June 24, 2014 at 07:11 PM
Proud of you McClown...laying bare for all to see...step in the right direction. Good for you !!!

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