Yom Chamishi, 28 Sivan 5777
Rabbi Lader
Rabbi Lader

“Wherever you go, there’s always someone Jewish…
You’re never alone when you say you’re a Jew.
And, if you’re not home and you’re somewhere kind of… newish…
The odds are, don’t look far, ‘cause they’re Jewish, too!”

The lyrics of Rabbi Larry Milder’s song have been with me since I heard him teach and perform at a CAJE conference (Coalition for the Advancement of Jewish Education) in the summer of 1991 at Hofstra University. And now, twenty-six summers later, the words still bring a smile to me.

At the start of every summer, I think about all the travels that we will be making. Many of us will be going to visit family and friends; they may live on the other side of Cleveland, the other side of Ohio, or the other side of our country. Some of us will be going out of town to summer camp, making new friends and having new experiences. Some of us will be going to summer festivals filled with learning new things and enjoying musical and theatrical performances. Some of us will be traveling around the country or around the world.

Here’s the thing – wherever we go, there could very well be someone Jewish! Congregations… Jewish museums… Jewish deli-style restaurants… Israeli-style restaurants… You could be walking through an art festival and look over and see paintings on Jewish themes… [As a matter of fact, I found the light switch-plate on the wall in my office at the Lakewood Arts Festival last summer – an interesting and colorful switch-plate filled with Jewish symbols!]

And here’s the other thing – wherever we go, we can Google and locate a synagogue nearby. Of course, not every community will have a Jewish community, but if you do find yourself in one – celebrate Shabbat and check out a temple. We get calls all the time from people who are “in town for the weekend and want to come to services” – why not? You (and your family) can be Beth Israel – The West Temple’s ambassadors to other congregations. Maybe you’ll make some new friends along the way.

As you travel this summer, please send us your pictures of people you meet along the way. “The odds are, don’t look far… ‘cause they’re Jewish, too.” Just maybe…

Nesiya tovah - Good (and safe) travels,

 

Rabbi Enid C. Lader
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