I would like to give a little back story to my title.
I grew up in a standard run of the mill Baptist church. You show up Sunday morning at 9:45 for service which usually starts around 10. Every time without fail the preacher tells everyone to greet their neighbor. Que the sea of heys and how are yas, handshakes and hugs, and “oh I haven’t seen you in forever” from a lady you’ve never met. Every. Single. Sunday. Because of that not one time did it feel genuine.
Skip forward about 5 years I find myself on my journey to judaism and finally muster the courage to go to my local shul in person. I walk In and immedietly feel underdressed. My polo and slacks pale in comparison to the three piece suits and evening dresses I’m seeing all over the room. I meander to my seat to try and blend in before service. And here’s where it surprised me.
I’m not sitting down maybe 45 seconds and I’m approached by an elderly couple who introduce themselves, ask where I’m from, and see If this is my first time visiting. I politely answer and smile and they go about the rest of their rounds greeting people. After they walked away I was approached and greeted 17 times by people I’ve never met who introduced themselves and offered to have me sit next to their family or sit with them after services. Never in my entire life have I felt more welcomed. Each and every person seemed genuine and happy to see me there
So from the bottom of my heart as an outsider trying to earn my place in your community. Thank you for being so welcoming and I’ve never looked forward more to joining a community than right now. I’m counting down the minutes to Saturday when I can go back