“Regular” school began days or in some cases weeks ago.
We all ran to our office supply stores with that long school list in hand of necessary supplies. We battled the parking lot wars and fought against the tide of mall crowds to find that first-day-of-school outfit both sides could agree on. Requisite pictures were taken and duly posted on social media as we raced to work after catching up with other parents outside of new classrooms.
That was then, this is now.
This Sunday, September 11th is our other first day of school. The one that takes place in an art-filled building with bending hallways we share with the Westside Neighborhood School every Sunday. We remind ourselves and our families that this is the time we devote to exploring our Jewish identities and cultures in a unique, multicultural environment where we can ask questions and learn about what makes us all unique while having a bit of fun at the same time. We catch up with our community of special friends we don’t always have the right name for. They’re not our family, per se, but they feel like it, especially for those of us transplants with relatives who all live elsewhere. But they’re more than friends even if we don’t have the right words to describe them.
This is our Sholem Community. It’s a place that helps us teach our children about their Jewish identity but it’s also a place where we explore our own ideas about what it means to be a Jew, married to a Jew or a member of a multicultural family. We engage in adult discussion groups and hear from noted speakers in the community. It’s our Sunday School too.
To those of us returning, welcome back. To those new families, families who heard about this special, unique place and wanted to learn more, we look forward to sharing with you all the things that Sholem Community means to us.