Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

An open-door policy at synagogues that may work


Dear Editor:

I read with interest (and then I was appalled) the letter from Les Kippel in the Heritage. We belong to a Reform temple in Worcester, Mass., and attend Bet Chaim in the Orlando area when in Florida. Our temple up north does not have tickets and does not charge for coming during the High Holy Days. Anyone can walk in, sit anywhere, and is welcome at the services. There are forms/addressed envelopes at the door for donations and an announcement at each service is made that asks both members and nonmembers to donate for the services.

The temple that he tried to attend needs to rethink its practices. Many Jews in our country do not affiliate with a temple and attitudes such as the one he described is one of the causes. I did notice how other Orlando-area temples treat the issue and there is a variety, sometimes confusing, of rules for attending during the High Holy Days. I suggest to all of them that they need to consider an open-door policy for all services, with an announced request for donations and available forms/envelopes, for the High Holy Days. That welcoming attitude could attract unaffiliated Jews who may then choose to join the temple later.

My e-mail address is estherleo@charter.net for those who wish to be in touch with me about this issue.

Mrs. Bobbie Chase

Worcester, Mass., and Winter Park


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