This small, unassuming, beloved house of worship in Long Beach, NY often goes unnoticed by neighborhood residents and passers-by.
Curiously, stories of people who discovered it by chance, yet grew devoted as members are common. But such encounters are deliberate not happenstance, when in G-ds house no?
Our blog aims to capture the power of faith, friendship, and community --pillars that have upheld the physical and spiritual existence of Temple Zion, our Miracle on Maryland, for 66 years.
Saturday, August 23, 2014
A Night to Remember
(This speech in its entirety was given at Temple Zion's First Annual "Miracle on Maryland" Dinner Dance, August, 17th,
first began planning our shul’s First Annual “Miracle on Maryland Dinner Dance”
– the question arose – why are we calling it this? What’s the miracle? So, in
case you too are wondering why…
It was long-time
Temple Zion member, Eileen Margulies, who coined the term - in reference to the
remarkable “staying power” of our little “Shul by the Sea.”A shul that’s had its share of challenges.
There was a
time I’m told for one example-- when we needed a costly new air-conditioning
system. At another point, the lettering
on one or both of our Torahs were fading and in need of repair.After Hurricane Sandy, our building required a
labor-intensive clean-up.And of course
– there are perpetual issues of too membership growth, engagement and survival.
someway, in Eileen’s own words -- “We always seem to get what we need.”
I’d have to
agree.Miracles – it seem, take many
shapes and sizes.
years– we’ve gone from virtually no youth programming to organized Kid Clubs,
activities, a Talmud Torah class and increased child participation across the
experienced the loss of a beloved long-time Rabbi, hired another rabbi, and endured
a period without a Rabbi -- before searching
out and being sent a gift – in our own Rabbi Daniel Vinik.
also the complete renovation of our social room.Sitting together here, enjoying the amazing ambiance
of ABRAHAM HALL, feels nothing short of miraculous.
Is it all just
luck?Maybe. I personally
like to think otherwise. I like to
believe that prayer works.And that no
good deed goes unnoticed.
two people within our membership who take that phrase to a very high
level.Their commitment to our synagogue
is just awesome.
opportunity to work behind the scenes with our president, David KoegeI, I am
truly inspired by his faith, sense of responsibility to his role here, and how
he manages to show up Shabbos after Shabbos after Shabbos.And he doesn’t simply just show up – he shows
up with a genuine care, concern and compassion for our shul family.
always been the first to support our youth programming and marketing initiatives.And he remains in close contact to ensure the
success of our efforts –lending advice, guidance and words of encouragement
along the way.
we’re especially grateful when Joy Koegel appears at Temple Zion with
deliciously home-baked goods in hand – her dedication to and affection for our
shul community can be felt even when she’s not here.
I don’t know
too many wives who would encourage their husbands to maintain a second job that
has no set time-clock to punch, no health plan, vacation pay or benefits other
than its own intrinsic rewards -- but Joy thankfully does.
afraid of getting her hands dirty either–when it comes to pitching in around
here.Not only does she consistently
cheer on our programming efforts, but after many of these events –she can be
found in the kitchen --clad in an apron and gloves- helping to clean up the
it’s easy to see how loved and admired David and Joy are and how dedicated they
are to their beautiful, kind and talented daughters, Cassandra and Alexa.
So, let’s make
a toast to them both…
Joy…Thank you for your many years of service.Thank you for giving of your time, your hearts and for setting a tone of
warmth, acceptance and spiritual growth here.I look forward to sharing more simchas and G-d willing --- witnessing
more miracles at Temple Zion with you.
minute of tonight, as it is so well deserved.You are a very inspirational couple. G-d Bless You and Your Family.Mazel Tov!