We are proud of our continuing partnership with the Reform community in Be’er Sheva, an initiative that began in 2012 with a new gan, thanks to the generosity of Jeffery & Tatjana Singer and the Israel Special Projects Fund.
Recently Naomi Efrat, the coordinator of the Reform Community Initiative and founding member of the original Kama Young Community in Be’er Sheva, sent us an update of the various ways in which our partnership has enriched life for its members:
It’s been a while since we’ve been in touch, and I wanted to send this letter to say thank you for your tremendous generosity. The funding that you are providing is like our drinking water in the desert of Be’er Sheva.
We have lately been taking action, using your generous support, in a variety of new ways:
• We added a weekly addition of a children’s play and learn service session on Friday nights — Kabbalat Shabbat.
• We’ve expanded the work of our parent-child centre, and now we have sessions for moms, dads and toddlers five times a week. I start each session with a short parashah on the importance of pluralism, acceptance and togetherness. These messages are mostly for the parents — and they make a really strong impact.
• I’ve initiated a series of lectures in evening hours for our adult community. Our first lecture is from a woman who was both Orthodox and lesbian. She eventually joined the Reform movement and found it to be a better fit. She will talk about the complexities of life in Israel as a lesbian who is observant and Reform.
• We opened a student community! Now we have 15 students who have their own service in a more laid-back atmosphere on campus. I LOVE them (and wish I were young enough to join).
So many great things are happening. Our community is growing so nicely.