We came to the Valley as a young married couple about 43 years ago with our 11-month-old daughter, Shira. We were seeking a warm, welcoming shul that would provide growth in our Jewish identities as we both had been raised with limited Jewish educational, cultural and religious backgrounds. We found Shaarey Zedek and hoped it would be the answer to our quest. It was indeed!
Our new community was small and cozy and had the feeling of a small town in the midst of a big city. As our family grew, our four children enjoyed growing up with plenty to do because the shul provided many activities on Shabbat and holidays. Our friends became our kids’ adopted aunts and uncles. We realized early on that we were all growing up together. We shared simchas, delicious Shabbos meals, and enriching community events. We learned how to parent and inculcate Jewish values in a fun and meaningful way. We also shared personal and communal tragedies. These joys and challenges that we all experienced together helped guide and support our family throughout the decades.
We became friends and admirers of the older generation that pioneered and started this community. They made it possible to establish Shaarey Zedek so that we newcomers had a home. We watched, admired and were privileged to befriend many Holocaust survivors as they began their lives again after losing everything they once knew.
Following the growth of our original four Bregman children, our daughter Shira and our son-in-law Josh Cooper are now seasoned and active members and contributors to our growing community. We are so proud that their four children, our grandchildren, have been raised here at Shaarey Zedek.
Our three other adult children, Talia, Aliza and Josh have carried the Shaarey Zedek warmth and love with them to the Toronto and St. Louis Jewish communities.
Now, we are the senior and older generation. We are proud to see how our community is growing and thriving. What is so unique about Shaarey Zedek is that it’s a melting pot for families from different backgrounds and cultures. Our community has ample room and open arms to newcomers, young and not so young, from various backgrounds and levels of religious observance. We have witnessed that people are accepted no matter where they have come from; each person has the opportunity to grow as much as he or she desires.
Shaarey Zedek, along with the wonderful people who make up the greater community, is the center of our Jewish life. Over the past 43 years the Rabbis and Rebbetzins and other communal leaders have given of themselves and have guided us with their wisdom, warmth, and friendship. We will always be grateful to be part of the Shaarey Zedek family.
Though we both grew up in the Valley, it wasn’t until we moved back from Israel as a young married couple with a growing family that we found ourselves looking for our place in the valley community. Shaarey Zedek welcomed us with open arms. Even when we couldn’t afford membership or participate financially, we were always made to feel valued and welcomed. It’s been such a blessing to have a Rav like Rabbi Rosenberg who we can connect with us on every level - anything from complicated halachic discussion to hashkafic issues and worldly matters.
Over the years Ronson became more involved with the introduction of the teen minyan and arranging shul events. This is no easy feat and the incredible shul members who’ve been tasked with youth programming and event planning have done such a wonderful job! The quality of Shaarey Zedek groups is unparalleled and it’s such a highlight for our family. We have year-round events to look forward to, especially Camp Shamayim which our girls are so excited about! Our Shul truly values and invests in creating an inviting atmosphere for our entire family.
We truly feel at home with Shaarey Zedek and are so humbled by the honor of the Community Service award. We both get to serve our community through our professions, whether through our fitness gym or Elka’s participation as a makeup artist in countless simchas. The support we have received from our community is so heartwarming and we are so very grateful for our wonderful neighbors, friends and family.