May 12, 2020
18 Iyyar 5780
Dear Adath Community:

Are you ready to climb a mountain?! Maybe you don't have a mountain in your backyard. No problem. Shavuot, the holiday when we celebrate the gift of Torah at Mount Sinai, is a chance to celebrate wise elders whose life experience can teach us, lift us up, and give us the gear to find hope ─and Torah for our times─as we climb some challenging terrain.

That is where Many Generations on the Mountain (MGM) comes in. No trip to REI required. No logging onto Zoom. All you have to do is pick up the phone. MGM is your chance to ask an "older adult" in your life (think parent, grandparent, great grandparent, great aunt, great uncle, neighbor, or friend) any or all the questions below. The person may or may not be Jewish. Perhaps one of them lived through the Great Depression. Or World War II. Or Vietnam. Or survived an illness.

  1. When you were a kid, what made you smile or feel happy, what made you cry or feel sad?
  2. Did you ever have to stay at home for a long time, and why? What did you do at home? How did it feel?
  3. What was it like before Zoom?! How did you stay in touch with people who didn't live close to you who you cared about?
  4. What gave you hope in the past and what gives you hope now?

Feel free to adapt to the ages of anyone else, if applicable, in your household. You are welcome to do this with another Adath household or reach out to Jenifer Robins at 952.212.6128 or if you'd like to call an older Adath member you might not know yet and make a new friend. We hope you’re wondering, “Wait, this sounds great, but I haven’t done this before. How do I participate?”

  • Contact the person you want to talk with and ask when is a good time to talk and explain the project. Can be, “People in my synagogue are talking to people they care about to learn about their lives, make their stories known, and give all of us hope.”

  • Take five minutes or fifty minutes to reach out for the call and take a few moments to write down your responses while they are fresh. Then take a few minutes to email Jenifer by Wednesday, May 27 (the day before erev Shavuot) with a recap of the conversation so we can collect responses and find a meaningful way to share our MGM experience with the community. Please ask permission to use the person’s name, and also to share what year they were born. There is no problem if they are not comfortable sharing that information.

  • Be patient. Some people love to talk, but quiet people might need a little time to think of an answer.

No matter what, get ready to discover something new on Mount Sinai this year. Pick up the phone and get calling and climbing!

With excitement,
Rabbi Harold J. Kravitz

Rabbi Aaron S. Weininger
Hazzan Joanna Dulkin