To celebrate long-time congregants, Temple Beth Sholom of New City will hold a Milestone Membership service on Friday, May 29. Thirty-six synagogue members who have been members for 36 years or longer will be honored with a gift from the congregation.

“Membership in a synagogue represents a commitment to ensuring that Judaism will continue to flourish,” Rabbi Brian Leiken said. “Over the years, synagogues have been losing members due to challenges in financial constraints, the prioritization of other memberships and beyond. The commitment of Jews to retain membership in a synagogue represents a commitment to the future of Judaism itself. Long-term members are not only remaining for themselves but also for the future generations.

“There are many synagogue leaders who feel that the synagogues’ priority should be gaining new members,” he continued. “While new members are important, we must do our job in educating members about the importance of staying. The synagogue is the one place where Judaism is communal, where life is seen through the lens of the community”

“The synagogue is about much more than personal relationships with God. It is ultimately about the relationships we have b’nei Adam l’chaveiro, between a person and his/her fellow,” Rabbi Leiken concluded.