President’s Message


On behalf of our Board and Staff, I enthusiastically welcome your interest in our vibrant and growing congregation. I am happy to answer any questions that you have about Kerem Shalom so please get in touch. Contact information for our Staff is listed on the “Contact Us” page.
Shalom and Best Wishes!
Cherry Muse, President

For more information about Kerem Shalom please contact our administrator, Jessie Busiek, at 978-369-1223.

Musings from the President

September 2017

At one point during Yom Kippur services, Rabbi Darby asked members of the congregation who were not born Jewish to stand. He acknowledged the many ways that these people support Kerem Shalom…getting the kids to Hebrew School, volunteering, serving on the Board of Directors, encouraging their families to attend services, making a significant financial commitment. He mentioned that there has been some controversy about whether singling out this group is appropriate, especially with respect to Jews by choice, or converts. He went on to say that this group is ‘different’ and that he thought it was important to honor this.

I am one of the people who stood up. Although I’ve been Jewish for most of my life (42 years), I haven’t been Jewish for all of my life. And even though my Jewish identity has deepened significantly over time,

I am aware that in some ways, I remain ‘different’ from those of you who have been Jewish your entire life.

How?

I have no childhood Jewish baggage. I don’t have terrible memories of Hebrew School. No scary rabbis haunt my dreams. I wasn’t forced to sit through never-ending Seders as a small child.

I have no childhood Jewish memories. When people reminisce about Jewish camps, I go silent. I don’t have warm memories of celebrating Hanukkah with Bubbe and Zeida. I don’t have a trove of ‘Jewish jokes.’

I think that Rabbi Darby’s gracious acknowledgement not only recognizes differences, it challenges our assumptions about one another. It encourages curiosity, as well as respect. And, given the demographics of our community (over 50% of our families are interfaith), this is a good thing.

We are all singular. But coming together in community gives us an opportunity to find points of similarity and connection. Rabbi Darby’s acknowledgement of those who were not born Jewish encourages us to look beyond our superficial traits to find the core values that draw us to Kerem Shalom. It’s helps us to ‘keep it real.’

-Cherry Muse