Friday, November 10, 2017

Exclusively Inclusive

 From the pages of Kadima, the newsletter of Congregation Adas Emuno:

A Message From Our President

Dr. Lance Strate

Exclusively Inclusive

Adas Emuno is a small congregation, as we all know, and that means that membership in our shul is something of an exclusive club. Of course, the final word on exclusivity was uttered by Groucho Marx, who famously said, "I wouldn't want to belong to any club that will accept people like me as a member." This harkens back to a time when many private clubs had a policy of deliberately excluding Jews and other minorities from membership.

Marx's mocking aside, over the past century and a half, our congregation has never aspired to be one of those big, impersonal temples with many hundreds or even thousands of members. We embraced the approach so well expressed by the British economist, E. F. Schumacher, small is beautiful. I hasten to add that we do have room to grow, and we wouldn't mind a few more members.

In keeping things on a human scale, we don't force congregants to fit into predetermined molds. We remain flexible, able to tailor our expressions of faith, learning, and action to the needs and desires of our members. Ours is a shul that is personal, custom-made for our members.

In this sense, we are also an inclusive congregation, open to all who want to join together with us in the practice of our Reform Jewish faith. We are open to all who seek to worship, learn, and work together to heal our world.

We are exclusively inclusive, or maybe it's inclusively exclusive? Either way, if you think there are any ways we can do better, that we can improve in being open and intimate, warm and welcoming, inclusive and exclusive, please let us know. Let's make sure this is a club that we all want to belong to, that we all are proud to be members of, that even Groucho would be happy to join.

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