The truth is time does accelerate. It moves faster with each succeeding year. Already it is February, and in shul we have already read of the exodus from Egypt, months before anyone has even purchased a matzah or thought about charoses. But that is the cycle of Jewish life. It is through that cycle of renewal that we find ourselves always returning to our roots, our home, and constantly searching for our Jewish identity.
What is Judaism in the 21st century? If it is not the black-hat variety, and if it is not the merely cultural variety, what is it, and how do we hold onto it? These and related critical questions are being asked by those of us who contemplate East Midwood Jewish Center's place in the Brooklyn of now, rather than in the Brooklyn of the last hundred years.
It is the task of our schools and Room J to address these questions, and to lead our young people to confront the reality that Judaism ignored is Judaism forgotten. It is the task of lay leadership and our clergy to not rest on the usual or the comfortable, but to reach out to the greater community with programs that make Shabbat and festival observance more and more accessible.
It is the task of our affiliated groups, committees, and our friends, our Men's Club, our Sisterhood, and even our Institute for Living Judaism, to remind us that we are here for a purpose, and to live the "examined life."
It is with our brains, our brawn and our faith, our music, art, and sculpture, our friends and family and our resources that we can find meaning in our Jewish community.
Yet that is our task as well. Not to live in the past␣but to remember it. Not to avoid the present but to live in it. Not to ignore the future but to plan and aspire to it.
We at East Midwood Jewish Center have had a remarkable past. Equally important, day after day, we are having amazing "present," with daily and Shabbat minyans, classes, activities, events, and music and art!
As time inexorably moves forward, we reach for our future. EMJC is grounded in the past, living in the present, and always planning for the future. Join us on this remarkable journey. The best is yet to come.
Michael Sucher and Larry Isaacson, EMJC Presidents