At the 133rd Annual Meeting Shearith Israel Members were asked to answer this simple question, Why Am I a Member? Responses were funny, heartfelt, emotional and showed the breadth of commitment to our community. Here are a few: 

When my wife and I moved to Dallas in 1986, I went shul shopping.  I went to Orthodox, Reform, Messianic and when I walked into Shearith Israel, we were using the exact same Siddur as I had in Jacksonville Jewish Center in which I grew up.  I said, “Am I at home or what?”  That was 32+ years ago.

I am a member because Shearith fulfills my religious needs.  I go to minyan in the morning, services on Shabbos and generally like the people.

Because I grew up here as did my children and some grandchildren.  Also, I was married and adult Bat Mitzvah’d here.

To be part of a like-minded community.  So my child can grow up with other Jewish children who will learn to value Conservative Judaism.

I am a member because this is a conservative synagogue that I identify with.  It is established and has great leadership, both rabbinic and voluntary.  We’ve celebrated many Simchas here and hope to celebrate more.  Our rabbinic leadership is outstanding and hopefully, our membership will continue to grow.

We joined for our children’s experience and have stayed for our own journey.

Shearith is our in-town family.

Hebrew school for our children.  Conservative movement was important to us.

Because I’m 3rd generation and Shearith Israel has always been home

Joined for our children/family.  Stayed for the community.

Have been for 37 years.  Enjoy the holidays.  Raised 3 kids here at the shul.

The Hebrew school. Because in 1975 when we joined, Shearith was the only Conservative movement synagogue.  We’re very happy with the current Rabbinical staff.  They have made Shearith Israel more inclusive and offer “something for everyone” no matter their age or family status.

We found Shearith fit our needs as a young couple without children in 2005.  We stayed because Shearith continued to meet our needs and because of the relationships we have developed.

Community.

I am a member because the family I married into was a member.  However, I have stayed a member for 57 years so I am now a member by choice.  I love coming to all the activities going on now in the shul.

Because of my love for Judaism and the Shearith Israel community.  I am excited regarding our Rabbis and Cantor and feel our future is bright.

My family were members, I’m comfortable here.  I like services.  I like all the shul has to offer.

My wife grew up at Shearith, we were married by Rabbi Ofseyer.  My children grew up here.  My daughter was just married by Rabbis Roffman and Wallach.  I believe in the clergy and the path forward for Conservative Judaism.  Shearith is “inclusive” instead of “exclusive”.  I think there is a way for everyone to pray and learn in the way they want.

I grew up here. Community. Comfortable. Familiar

Family connection and love of the Shearith community.  We wanted a place for our son to grow and connect to Judaism, in the same way we did growing up.

History.  Just as our country has monuments that remind us of our history – and because our Jewish history is enriched with heroes as well as less desired notorious people – our shul has history.  I want that history preserved and our religion perpetuated and I am a part of this history as are my children. I want to see our shul’s history and rituals remain intact!

When my wife and I married we had both been raised conservative in Houston.  Shearith fit us like home.  We developed many friends thru the shul that have become our closest friends.

Family legacy, community, for my children

We moved North from Casa View.  Our eldest son was preparing for his Bar Mitzvah (he now sings in the Shearith choir) so we joined Shearith which was the only conservative shul here.

To have a connection to the Jewish Community and for our children.

Good question.  This is home.  I am a 3rd generation member, now the 5th generation here.

Devotion to Judaism.

Religious community.

Shearith Israel offered services that included the congregation.  The people are friendly.

Maintaining Conservative rituals, my spiritual friends.

Wife’s family legacy.  Education about Judaism.  Lead a Jewish life/values. For my children.

I like the rabbis and community.

Because I am a conservative Jew.

Our family joined in 1955 because our synagogue (Agudrach Achim) closed.

Because my wife grew up a conservative Jew.

Because I wanted a large Conservative shul to raise my family in and be able to volunteer at.  I stay because of the people, education and rabbis

To have a community with which to daven and share Jewish living.

Cantor Zhrebker and 40 years of memories

We joined as a family when our oldest son was ready to start Sunday school and we thought he would get a better education. We’ve stayed ever since.

A community of regulars on Shabbat.

The food (Rabbi Roffman – 😊)