This is available on our regular website, but I thought it deserved to be posted here as well. It describes our hopes and plans for the character of the Jewish community we are building here in Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley. It was sent out in a recent mailing with the newest version of our membership packet.
Baruch Habah -- Welcome to the Aspen Jewish Congregation!
In Pirkei Avot, “The Sayings of the Fathers” (1:6), our rabbis teach:
Aseh l'cha rav, u'kneh l'cha chaver, v'hevei dan et kol ha-adam l'chaf zechut.
“Make for yourself a teacher, find for yourself a friend, and judge every person favorably.”
This three-part statement describes the Jewish community we want to build -- with your help -- in the Roaring Fork Valley.
Make for yourself a teacher. With religious school, Bar/Bat Mitzvah preparation, guest lectures, and adult education opportunities, the Aspen Jewish Congregation is a hub of formal and informal Jewish learning. We hope you find that there’s something for everyone. And, just as the rabbis’ words can also mean “make yourself a teacher,” we invite you to bring your own interests and talents to be a teacher yourself in our community.
Find for yourself a friend. Judaism is about community, about weaving together our individual stories into the sacred stories of our tradition and people. From holiday celebrations and social action projects, to music and worship, to book clubs and cooking classes, we invite you to link yourself to our community and here find and become chaverim -- friends, colleagues, and a network of support. What kind of community do you need for wherever you may find yourself on life’s journey? What gifts do you bring to support and inspire others on their paths?
Judge every person favorably. The rabbis are wise in urging us to deal with all people according to kaf z’chut, the aspect of merit. We strive always to bring out the best in ourselves and others by creating a caring community based on the highest ideals of Jewish text and tradition. We welcome and embrace all those who seek to join together in shaping a life of Jewish meaning and immortal impact.
If we haven’t already, we hope to meet you in person to get to know each other, to answer your questions, and to ask some questions of our own! Please feel free to be in touch with us.
Bivrachah, with blessing,
Rabbi David Segal
Cantor Rollin Simmons