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President's Blog: Proud to Be Part of Roswell - February 2024

I first joined the Board of Trustees in 2000.  Since that time, the Board, Temple Clergy and auxiliary members regularly spoke about how Temple Kehillat Chaim is “the best kept secret in Roswell.”  We have and always have had exceptional clergy, wonderful religious services, a fantastic religious school with a well-designed B’nai Mitzvah program, friendly members, an exceptional facility and an extraordinary location.  Yet, we never seemed to garner any attention within the community.  Case in point discussed at a Board meeting:  when we spoke to folks paying to park in our lots for Alive Roswell in the Spring, we were asked several times, “Kehillat Chaim – what is this place?” 

And this was a false impression all along.  After the unfortunate bombing hoax in mid-December, we invited the community to our temple for a Community Shabbat.  Despite the impetus for it being held, it was awesome.  More than 300 people from Kehillat Chaim, friends in the community at large, city officials, police officers, fire fighters, church members and clergy, and members and clergy from other temples came out to be with us – and this was after school was out for Winter Break and a few days before Christmas.  Roswell’s Mayor even altered his family plans for the evening to be at Kehillat Chaim for the evening.  The energy in our Sanctuary that night was as high as I have ever seen in 25 years of membership.  And this was accomplished with a few phone calls, a few emails and a few social media posts in less than a week.  The message from the Roswell community was that we are NOT a secret in Roswell.  In fact, Temple Kehillat Chaim and its members are an important part of the Roswell community.  Message received. 

Since the massacre on October 7, many Jews – including many of our members -- have felt isolated, unwanted and, in some cases scorned.  But that is not the case in Roswell.  I am proud to say that we are part of a community that appreciates and respects us, and one that supports who we are and what we stand for.  And for that I am thankful.  I look forward to seeing you at upcoming services and/or temple events and continuing to be a part of this great community.   

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