The Arkin Family
Ron and I married in 1979. I promised to raise our children Jewish. Our son, David was born in 1984. When he turned three, I felt it was time to introduce him formally to God. We had met Rabbi Winokur at Simchas and knew some members. We joined the Kehillah, attended "Basic Judaism" classes with the Rabbi, then David and I converted after I realized this was what I had believed in all my life. I remember David telling the Rabbi, "I am part Jewish now, but pretty soon I will be all Jewish." He underwent the Mikveh ritual with me to make it special.
Two months after joining, Robert Teplis invited Ron to join a committee. That started 14 (+) years of intensive involvement at the Kehillah. Ron was a Board member, Treasurer, Vice President and President. We used to joke our house was TKC West! Ron and Steve Bush turned "the little church" into a synagogue, renovating the sanctuary, removing walls, painting, and building the Arc doors and pulpits.
I got involved developing committees, starting a volunteer drive, serving on the Board, starting a social group, teaching Sunday school, etc. We have stayed members for 25 years. The Kehillah is home for us. During my years of severe illness, TKC members were amazing, providing meals, staying with me when Ron was out of town, etc. There has never been a time we needed help that TKC members, clergy and staff were not there.
Getting involved helped develop a sense of ownership and belonging. TKC was not just a place to drop our kid off for Sunday school. It was and still is a place to share Simchas, find spirituality, make a difference, enjoy social activities, experience love and friendship, and stay connected to our Judaism. We have stayed through the good times and the bad.
We encourage everyone to find something to get involved in. Make the Kehillah your own. Be role models for your kids. It doesn’t have to be anything major. Everything helps the Temple and believe us, you will get back more than you put in ….and it feels really good!
Carilyn & Ron Arkin
By: Carilyn Arkin, as printed in the June 2012 Kol Kehillah newsletter. Do not reprint without written permission.