Living in Westminster and being here in a community that supports each other? That’s what really matters at Beth David.
The best part? Growing together. There’s no playbook. No step-by-step directions. Just living our best lives. Whether we are first-time parents, college grads back home, starting a new career, navigating our interfaith marriages sometimes with paradoxical religious beliefs, at Beth David we don’t really require any sort of overly structured plan. At Beth David it’s just happening, sometimes on a whim with a glass of wine in one hand and an iPhone in the other.
That’s how we roll. We love bringing everyone together here at Beth David. Sure, being at home is wonderful but it can be a bit isolating and not always ‘the break’ we are looking for. Our kids with today’s technology? It’s important that we get out with our local community – somewhere easily accessible, with like-minded people for much-needed positivity from the daily grind.
Sometime before 7:30pm on a Friday (or 7:40 pm for the ones who are on JST) we call our friends and tell them to head over. We can start with dessert at the oneg! Or we can grab something locally after. Beth David is easy to get to right off the 405. We will wear whatever we are comfortable in, coming as we are.
At Beth David we’ll sit for a few minutes when we get there, to unplug (or plug into the new USB bars), and take a moment to be grateful. In something bigger than just us, humanity, living our lives to the fullest. The Rabbi will speak a word or two of Hebrew, it’s ok as English is a big part of the service too. Our values, our heritage, strong ties to education, arts, food, family and friends, our shared backgrounds will all be part of the service. The Cantor and/or choir will warm our hearts. It is psychologically and emotionally comforting to be here in the moment, ‘to be’ without institutionalized borders, and in the company of our friends and neighbors.
But we’re not all really here just for the service. We can live stream that at home. The night starts here, but will go on to end here. The space is a hanging out environment, not my parents synagogue, but something Instagramable with comfy couches and ottomans to put our feet up, modern day amenities, free wifi if I want to show my neighbor an interesting article. We are comfortable in a warm, fragrant ambiance, surrounded by positivity with values all around us, and enjoying conversation, food, coffee and wine. People are equals here, social hierarchy suspended, no one is pulling rank. It feels like a second home, where people can be Me, but also We.
At Beth David while our friendships thrive, we will laugh about recent events, the vacations we are planning, the new ‘hot spots’ around town, single friends match-ups, our children will run around happy and free (and phew, unplugged) – this is a joyous time. And life happens. We may discuss some heavier matters that hold great importance for us (and potentially our roles as activists in them) like politics, religion. We may take it outside to the Adirondack chairs for a more intimate conversation, other friends will join us, and soon we are onto another subject. We can get way too comfortable to move away from the fire pit which is sync’ing perfectly with the new Mark Ronson album, but who cares about making it home by 9 pm? We live around the corner. There’s plenty more to talk about, to nosh on and drink from the fridge, so we stay longer.
At Beth David some point, someone will say it’s time to head out in five minutes, and for real this time. As we collect our things, we relent and power back up our iPhone’s that have been charging, check calendars and wander over to the iPad kiosks to look for upcoming Beth David events – there we discover new ways to volunteer, an acclaimed guest speaker coming, a new mom class, a multi-class package for kids (and husbands) to learn to fly drones.Even some young, hip local bands playing on Sunday afternoon for everyone – so we all just sign up together.
We may even just stop by during the day to spend some more time here, get some work done while the 405 is backed up, just ‘to be’ in this loving place.
This is what we want community life to feel like. Not only on a Friday night, but any night.
Beth David is an open door, to our hearts!