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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Camp Coleman - the place I learned to be me!

Shalom Y'all!

I have now been a rabbi for just over 13 months.  What a year it has been!  The community that I serve is amazing, wonderful, and welcoming; my family and I could not be any  happier.  Well, I would prefer a few more baby namings and no more Shiva minyanim!  Anyway, one of the GREAT benefits to being a rabbi at Temple Kol Emeth is the opportunity to return to Camp Coleman every summer and serve as a member of the faculty.  AND, Carlie gets to go with me...this summer as a "day camper," and next summer as a first year camper in Bonim - the youngest group at Camp Coleman.

It seems that every time I get ready to go to camp, I get butterflies.  I have worked at so many summer camps that I almost need 3 hands to count them!  However, there has always been and will always be a special connection to Camp Coleman.  After all, I attended camp as a camper there.  I spent several years attending SEFTY events at Coleman, and I worked for 5 summers on staff at Camp Coleman.  I do not know how many of you remember that jingle (from Showbiz Pizza Chuck E. Cheese): "...where a kid can be a kid."  I have always thought that should be the motto for Camp Coleman.

Camp Coleman is so much more than that.  At Camp Coleman, one learns who he really is and that nothing is unattainable.  This is not to say that kids never make mistakes or fail at Camp Coleman.  But, what is really special about Camp Coleman is that when you do fail or make a mistake, you are in a safe environment where you can learn from the mistakes.  Counselors, Unit Heads and all of the staff (all the way up to Bobby Harris) spend most of their day taking care of you and spending hour upon hour trying to figure out how to make your summer the greatest experience of your life.

I have so many memories from Camp Coleman.  As Carlie gets older, I will share many of my memories with her.  However, I want her to be able (and I am so excited for this) to form her own awesome memories.  I look forward to the day when Carlie says to me, "Aba, when will it be time for Camp Coleman again?"  Truth is - many of us "spend time getting by" from late August to early June...just to get to those 2 months of summer when we can return to Camp Coleman.

As I get ready to head back home this evening, I carry with me all of those memories and great times!  And, I am looking forward to making many, many more memories!

Rabbi Erin Boxt

Monday, July 1, 2013

Summer is here...slowing down????

Shalom y'all!

So much going on in the news...that's quite an understatement.  However, although I am sure everyone is interested in my opinions on these things (just check FB), I would like to dwell on something different for a change.  Today is July 1, which means that in just about 2 months, we will be faced with the High Holy Day period.  And, it is substantially early this year: right after Labor Day!!!

While I was in Israel, everyone referred to the period Acharei HaChagim, "After the Holidays," as they would push things off until we could get over the "hump," so to speak.  When the HHD period is so early, it does complicate things.  The summer time, which is usually slower and less busy (which of course is not saying much if you are a rabbi), is time spent on visiting summer camps, preparing HHD sermons and "catching up" from the previous year.  Well, this year - summer will be over way too fast and the High Holy Days will be here too soon.

Ok - so it is not all bad.  With Rosh Hashanah coming so early, that means our education and programming schedule will get started earlier.  And, while this means preparations had to start earlier as well, we are given more time for programs which leads to more programs and more opportunities to get together with our temple community.  Here at Temple Kol Emeth, we are embarking on the 2nd Semester of the Suzette Felsberg Cohen Adult Education Initiative with classes in Mussar, Jews in America, Judaism and the afterlife, Hebrew, etc.  We are continuing our "TKE Out on the Town" events which we hope to bring in more members and more families!  Also, we are preparing for our TKE trip to Israel in June, 2014.

We also have our Friday night services at 8 pm (as usual), our upcoming Barbecue and Ice Cream Social and so much more!  There is always something going on at TKE and we are waiting for you to come over and join us!

With the hiring of a brand new (although she has worked here before so she is not really new - but she brings a new excitement back to TKE) Religious School principal in Becca Tullman, we have new energy and new ideas in our religious school program.  We have so much to be thankful for here at Temple Kol Emeth in Marietta, Georgia.  Want to keep up with what we are doing?  Great!  Check out our website:

There you will find links to all of our events, our calendar, my blog and weekly rabbi message, and so much more.  TKE is a happening place - the place for you, your family and 1000 of your friends.

As the summer goes along and you begin to think about where to go...give us a try.  We would love to welcome you here; we would love to have you be a part of our program.  Truth - we need you and once you get here, you'll realize you need us too!!!

Rabbi Erin Boxt