#MyHolyBlossom creates opportunities for learning, growth, and community by Caroline Ingvaldsen
Often a membership story at Holy Blossom reflects generations of family connection. Not my story: the first of my family to be born in Canada, my parents had fled Nazi-occupied Poland to the relative safety of the Soviet Union, eventually to find refuge in this good city.
Raised in the Bundist tradition of socialism and atheism, I first encountered Holy Blossom when R. Abraham Feinberg, of blessed memory, graciously officiated at my wedding to a non-Jew who declined to seek conversion. Almost twenty years later, disappointed by secular Judaism and seeking a Jewish foundation for my son and daughter, we joined Holy Blossom. My children enrolled in Religious School and I began to attend services. The tipping point proved to be participation in the Adult Bnai Mitzvah Class. The more I participated, the greater my interest grew. I joined Temple Singers and Sisterhood, chanted Torah and presented to the Monday Seniors’ Group. Since retirement, I’ve leaned in, even further: organizing the new Library, telling stories at the Early Childhood and Youth Education centres, moderating book clubs for children and adults, participating in adult education and numerous volunteer committees … and best of all, bringing my grandchildren to Temple.
Over thirty years of membership at Temple has been stimulating, satisfying and most of all, brimming with opportunity: the opportunity to learn, to grow and to engage with a wonderful community and to contribute to the great work of repairing the world, work that we are not obliged to complete but must not put aside.