Hi, my name is Sophie Atkinson and I am a 14-year-old student at JTEM. Last year, just before I started grade 7, my family joined Holy Blossom Temple. At first, it was weird joining a new synagogue, not knowing anyone, but after my first few Hebrew school classes, I felt welcomed and at home. Over this past year, I have made many incredibly strong friendships which will last me a lifetime. When my friends talk about synagogue they usually aren’t referencing it in a good way but recently I have found myself asking to go to extra classes and activities at shul. At Holy Blossom, I have gotten to experience the most amazing things. For example, last year my grade 7 class visited the Imdadul Islamic Centre. It was such an amazing trip and I have since gone back to help out with a “feeding the homeless” program at the Mosque. I have learned so much from talking with Mosque members and discovering our similarities and differences. While visiting the Mosque, my friends and I had such a great time and added to our many special memories. Last night they visited Holy Blossom and it was so great to see all the familiar faces, we spent some time chatting about religion and some of our traditions. I spoke with a few visitors and felt a real connection.
Speaking of connection, I’ve really felt it during my time at Holy Blossom. Holy Blossom Temple is a place where you can be yourself, no matter what that is. There is such love and positive vibes all throughout the synagogue, it truly is a special place. I am so fortunate that my family found a place like Holy Blossom!