I just came from a really special photo shoot.

A young lady in my town will become a Bat Mitzvah this weekend. Tonight was her rehearsal and a perfect opportunity for formal photos with just her, her family, and the Rabbi in the quiet temple sanctuary.

I am not a member of this temple, but I have been thinking about checking it out for a while. I have a handful of friends who are part of the congregation there and absolutely love their new rabbi. I have really been meaning to go. But I haven’t made the time.

After the events in Israel last week, I have felt lost, useless, and lonely, and in dire need of a community.

I don’t typically photograph mitzvahs or weddings, but I think this opportunity was beshert, which means meant to be. Of all days for me to be called to the synagogue in my town for a photo session, it was now, less than 2 weeks after Hamas wreaked havoc on Israeli civilians. I am a Jew, and these are my people. This was personal. Over the last several days I have wished for a community of people to mourn and grieve with, to talk to, to be a part of.

At the photo session tonight I met the Rabbi, and she is indeed lovely. I can tell she is everything my friends say she is. I told her I have been wanting to come to services and she welcomed me instantly. So I think I will go tomorrow for Friday night Shabbat services, and I think I’ll be comfortable, and I am sure I will see people I know. Community is something we all need, whether we are sharing joy or overwhelming grief, or both. Maybe I will find my community. 

I only just got home from the photo session, and the raw images look great, but I won’t share them until after the big day, so stay tuned…

Instead, please enjoy this photo of me during one of the most special times in my life, when I had the privilege of planting a tree in Israel.

Contributing to a thriving community in Israel.


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