Stephanie KarakantasBy TEMV President Stephanie Karakantas, from our February Bulletin.

I’m often interested in ways that people, institutions, movements and various causes sustain momentum and passion over time. Many of you know what I mean and have been there, too.  I get all excited and energized about a cause or project and then life gets in the way and I lose steam. I can get re-energized with others taking on some tasks and feed off of their energy and get recommitted and motivated all over again.

Reflecting on the word sustain—I gravitate to the word sustenance. Looking up the meaning of the word there are two definitions that pop up—1. food and drink regarded as a source of strength; nourishment and 2. the maintaining of someone or something in life or existence. Our temple community and Rabbi Sparr supply the nourishment and strength many of us need during tough times, when we need a supportive space; a sanctuary—in essence the temple feeds each member and friend to the level they seek this nurturance. In turn, each member is asked to help maintain the community in kind. This symbiotic relationship is key to the survival and health of each community member and of the community as a whole.

There are many issues the temple board is currently addressing: increasing our security; expanding our connections with other faith institutions in the Lowell area and nationally; and how to move forward—and not be limited by our physical space—to allow TEMV to continue to grow and prosper. So many considerations, so much energy needed to sustain the momentum that has propelled this wonderful, vibrant community over the past two years.

It  is not surprising to me to find the pronoun “us” in the word sustain.

It takes every member and friend to step up at this time to give back to our community in ways that you may not have considered before. Being truly generous is giving what you can and then some: time, money and energy. Our community expects no less. And our community can only be sustained with your passion and  sincere effort.

Blessings and Shalom,


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