By Suzie Lyon.
Yom Kippur 5722.
The new Senior Rabbi, W. Gunther Plaut, was on the bima. A preschool student was sitting in the sanctuary about fifteen rows back between her parents. Congregants were self-reflecting during the silent prayer.
The upstairs balcony door opened and in walked Mr. Heinz Warschauer, Director of Education.
In a loud, excited, voice, the little girl proclaimed, “Hellooooo Mr. Warschauer!” to the amusement of some congregants and horror of her embarrassed parents who both covered her mouth with their hands. Mr. Warschauer immediately and deliberately leaned over the balcony, smiled, and redirected her parents. “No, don’t do that. She’s happy to see me. It’s wonderful to have our children be happy and comfortable here.” Everyone relaxed. The service continued.
That little girl was me, Suzie Lyon, and that moment set the tone for my life at Holy Blossom Temple – and my life as a Jewish educator.
It has included preschool as a third generation member through Bat Mitzvah and Confirmation, youth group involvement including URJ camps, student teaching and teaching as an adult, Youth Director and active member, and my greatest joy – raising my children as active Holy Blossom members through adulthood.
Holy Blossom has always been that home, that vibrant and sophisticated place of comfort, the place where I always return for true spiritual fulfilment and guidance and examples of how to live intentionally as a Jew, as a member of the community, as a good person.
Judaism is relevant at Holy Blossom Temple.