For more than 2 decades we have been members of Midbar Kodesh Temple, giving what and when we can, aside from the dues that enables us to be members. There are lots of reasons to give. Sense of obligation, pride, community. For our parents. For our children and grandchildren. For your children. For your grandchildren.
There are lots of ways to give. With time. With money. Because someone asked. With everyone. Individually. Special Projects. What is needed at the moment. In honor or in memory. But today we want to share a story of giving that began almost 16 years ago.
We were a 4 generation MKT family. Many of you might remember that our dad, Leon "Grumps" Horowitz, was the Birthday/Anniverary man. Each month he would send out a batch of greeting cards that he carefully hand signed and addressed, and each month he would stop by the synagogue to drop them off to be mailed, chatting with everyone as he made his way through the building. Then during the week of Birthday/Anniversary Shabbat he would call each celebrant and bring them good wishes on behalf of the synagogue, inviting them to join us at services for Birthday/Anniversary Shabbat. In this exchange he would find out the news of the day in each household. These brief calls meant so much to him, a recent widower, as he personally connected with each congregant. Everyone always stopped to greet him when he was out and about or at services. Multigenerational connections were being built through these kind gestures.
In December 2000 our grandson was turning 6 years old and we decided that in his honor, and in honor of Grumps, the Birthday/Anniversary man, we would make a donation to sponsor the Friday night oneg on Birthday and Anniversary Shabbat. That Friday came and left, and by the last Friday of that same month, Grumps, suddenly and quietly, also left us. There was an outpouring of love and kindness in honor of and memory of this very kind man.
The following month when Birthday/Anniversary Shabbat came our way, there was an empty moment and we filled it by making another donation to the oneg. It felt so good to remember our Grumps that we did it the next month too...and every Birthday/Anniversary Friday night since, for almost 16 years.
We have considered retiring the tradition, because, after all, who needs to hear our name from the bima every single month? But we always end that conversation saying, "well, maybe next year." That monthly gesture of giving $36.00 brings our family so much joy. May Grumps' memory always be a blessing.
Jerry & Marcy Welt
Jerry and Marcy Welt joined Midbar Kodesh Temple in 1995. Jerry served on the MKT board of directors for several years and as President in 2000-2001. Marcy has been a synagogue volunteer and has worked on special projects since they became members. They are parents to MKT members Tiffany and Steven Doctors and grandparents to Jordan and Elizabeth Doctors as well as to Cory, Tamuna, Sandro and Anna Welt who live in Reston, Virginia.