Stories from the Heart – Jane Guttman

What brought you to TRS?
I’d never belonged to a Temple before, even though I was raised Jewish. When I decided to move to Arlington from New York to be closer to my daughter and grandkids, I made it my resolution to join a synagogue.

In what ways are you involved with TRS?
[A TRS lecture] actually changed my life. The Animals and Jews lecture…had me coming out of it deciding to be a vegetarian. I’m also planning on doing the Biblical Hebrew bootcamp, I’ve taken the Talmud course, I’ve been to a few Renaissance and WoTRS dinners, and I love the programming here so much that I decided to join the Adult Ed committee!

What inspired you to give to the TRS Capital Campaign?
Well, a few things. The resurgence of anti-Semitism, particularly what happened in Charlottesville—I went to hear [Charlottesville mayor] Mike Signer speak at TRS, and I read his book and his doctoral dissertation, and I was so inspired. And TRS does so much for the community—I have such positive feelings when I come here. It was just something I had to do, and recent events pushed me into doing something now.

Which aspect of the new building project most excites you?
The small sanctuary! It’ll be so great for smaller life cycle events. It’s so necessary to have a more intimate space.

Our campaign slogan is: “The future of Judaism is right here.” What does that mean to you?
I think there’s a dual meaning here. TRS is providing for the future of the congregation with its religious school and other educational programming. But it’s also providing for the future of our world with its social programs—it promotes the Jewish concept of tikkun olam.

It’s still early in our campaign, and people out there are still thinking about giving to this campaign. What would you like to tell them?
Well, there’s no better time like the present—right now, in the beginning of a year that literally ends with chai (the Hebrew letters for 18). It gives it so much meaning.