Today is September 28, 2023 /


Learning_ShofarUltimately, what we do is all about community. As Jews, we are not simply a collection of individual worshippers, but a people who are joined together by a common history and a common commitment to the values that history has taught us.

Our community is not typical. We live in a rural area known as the Upper Valley of the Connecticut River of western NH and eastern VT. While many of us are in the border towns of Lebanon and Hanover in New Hampshire and Norwich in Vermont, many others are geographically spread throughout the area up to one hour travel in each direction. We are not numerous enough to be defined by any of the four major Jewish religious movements (Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, and Reconstruction). Our traditions of religious expression span the spectrum, as do our political and social beliefs. It makes for a very dynamic congregation marked by creative programming and respect for heterogeneity.

It begins, but does not end, with becoming members (dues support most of what we have to offer). Volunteerism is the key to our constant efforts at community-building. Involvement in events, courses, and religious services helps create the inter-personal and communal cohesion that marks community building.

There are several ways to become involved with our community – Whether it’s through adult learning, our book club, knitting group, making chicken soup for members in need, or attending a film festival, there are great ways to meet friends. There are a number of opportunities to become involved in Social Action as well. Of course, you could also attend services for Shabbat and holidays, come to outdoor events for families, or attend any one of many virtual gatherings.  The Weekly Update and Calendar on our homepage lists what is currently happening.

The Connection, UVJC’s quarterly newsletter is another way to discover more about our community.

But part of what we do in prayer and study is not to just to read or to think, but to come together as am yisrael. We come together as a community in part for those who are suffering and for those who have lost loved ones. This is a place to reach out if someone you love has a yahrzeit or if you need to make arrangements for a burial. Anyone in the community, member or not, is encouraged to reach out to Rabbi Mark for counseling during difficult times.

As a community, we are committed to being there for each other and to making our world a better place. We all work together to create community through what we do, both through acts that directly strengthen our own community and acts that benefit the whole world.

There are many ways to get involved with the Jewish Community. Check the home page of the website periodically for new social events and for ongoing opportunities to become involved. If you would like to be on the mailing list for the Weekly Update,  please subscribe (at the footer of this page).