What led you to join TRS?
Jeffrey: Rodef Shalom was a Reform congregation in close proximity with a lot of stuff going on. It was an immediate fit. We had our daughter’s baby naming at TRS. Toward the end of the service, our daughter kicked off her socks, and Rabbi Schwartzman said, “May God bless you and keep you…and keep your socks on!” Amy is the kind of person who can do on-the-fly humor. She was comfortable in that situation, and that said a lot.
What keeps you coming to TRS?
Jeffrey: We’ve gotten much more tied in. I started getting involved in a lot of different activities. In 2013, I was one of the “furloughed feds,” and during a shutdown brunch, Karen Menichelli asked me to join the Social Action Committee, and Jay Hirschman and I talked about starting the TRS music jam group (in October 2013). I have now been on the board for four years.
Lindsay: We’ve also attended some Adult Ed evenings, and for our anniversary last year, we went to the Syrian refugee welcome dinner. I thought that was a really good way to spend our anniversary!
I wasn’t raised Jewish, but it’s always been important for me to belong to a community of faith. Here, there’s a group of like-minded people who attend services with us, reflect with us, have meaningful conversations with us. I’ve never felt not welcome, as a non-Jewish person. It just works for us, and so much good comes out of here.
What inspired you to give to the Capital Campaign?
Jeffrey: We feel strongly about the temple, and as a member of the board, I also feel that I am an ambassador for this campaign. And Lindsay and I have never donated this amount of money to a single place before. The temple fills every niche of what I want from a Jewish home. TRS is an increasingly important part of our lives; we want to see it continuing into the future.
Lindsay: The temple is a real force for good in this community. I think about Rabbi Saxe’s push to build relationships with the local Muslim community, how important that is.
Jeffrey: Yes, and the social justice initiatives: Sing for Peace, our delegation in the Climate March, Feed ‘Em Fridays. TRS is a beacon.
What about the new building project most excites you?
Lindsay: We’ve participated in Bo’i Shabbat services, which are terrific and meaningful, but a different space would be awesome. That’s why we’re excited for the small sanctuary!
Jeffrey: And more parking!
Our campaign slogan is: “The future of Judaism is right here.” What does that mean to you?
Lindsay: I think it means that we need to contribute to growing and strengthening our community. We have this terrific energy in our congregation, and we need to have enough places and spaces for it to continue to grow.
Jeffrey: We need to be leaders and examples for other congregations. The Fairfax County Board expressed [last year, when we received approval for construction] what an important part of the community we are. We’re showing to non-Jews who we are as a people.