Sunday, July 6, 2014

What’s in a Name?

(Richard Lobell Photograhy)
A heck of a holy lot, as our congregation recently discovered.

Following the gut-renovation of our decades-old, original-condition social hall, the time came to properly thank our angel-benefactor and fellow synagogue member. 

A dedication plaque was in order along with a celebratory Kiddush in his honor.  But such showing of gratitude was briefly halted, when out of modesty, our miracle-facilitator rejected our suggestion that the gorgeous new space he’d gifted us with, be named for him. 

Attempts to persuade him otherwise failed initially, but ultimately, he agreed to name the hall for his late father, Abraham Kurtz.  An a-ha moment indeed!

With the designation of this Biblical name, the essence of Mr. Kurtz – a well-loved, family man-- enlivened many hearts.  Suddenly, our congregation’s sense of identity and purpose soared with higher spiritual value.  Just as Father Abraham embodied qualities of loving kindness, hospitality and peace, so too should we align our personal and communal aims. 

For our generous and esteemed donor and friend, the opportunity to memorialize his beloved father in this way, proved to be a pivotal, transformative gift for himself, his loved ones and our synagogue family.

Today, upon entering our once dimly-lit and musty social room, I am grateful for the warmth, love, and marvelous, inspirational light that radiates throughout our new ABRAHAM HALL.  

Glancing over at the letters, plaque and bio in recognition of Mr. Kurtz, for whom we’ve been so blessed, there’s a shared pride in being granted the opportunity to try to continue his legacy and that of our Jewish patriarch.

Copyright 2014 by Erika Prafder

Close up of Dedication Plaque
(Richard Lobell Photography)