After Shabbat services, the Midwest Torah Center presents a kiddush where all can come and join us in celebrating the Shabbat. It is one of the highlights of the Shabbat as our entire "family" can engage in conversation with one another while enjoying great food.
In appreciation of your joining us each week, we would like to invite you to participate in the mitzvah of ahavat Yisrael (love of one's fellow Jew) by sponsoring a Kiddush. If you have some special event or just want to share in the joy of bringing fellow Jews together over some chulent and cake, please contact us and we'll make sure it happens. See you on Shabbat!
Which is more important, quality or quantity? If one focuses on quality, one may have the item for many years. On the other hand, if one focuses of quantity, one can afford to suffer a little loss. For example, some cars were known to last for many years, while others were known to break down at around 80,000 miles. The cars that were made to last were considerably more expensive. So the consumer had to decide quality over quantity. Choosing between a fast food establishment over a fancy restaurant presents a similar dilemma. Strangely enough, religion has the same conundrum.
If one is a youth director and/or rabbi of a synagogue, one of the main roles is to expand membership. The reason for this desired expansion is to share the financial responsibility. The dilemma faced by the rabbi/youth director is which type of investment should one make? If one goes for numbers, one is potentially sacrificing relationships that can help people grow religiously…the purpose that the rabbi/youth director signed on for. If one concentrates on quality then the officers aren’t as happy because it is felt that more people are needed to share the financial burden. Also the officers want to believe that their “product” is the best on the market and if more people would be exposed to their synagogue, more people would want to join and then the rabbi/youth director could engage these people in meaningful, qualitative experiences. It is a dilemma faced by all religious organizations.
Rabbi Samson Rafael Hirsch decided to invest in quality over quantity and was somewhat successful in his endeavors as a community of his design still exists in Washington Heights, NY. Rabbi Kotler also followed a similar path and started his place in Lakewood, NJ. Originally dreaming of 100 families, now Lakewood stands at a few thousand. It would seem that tour Rabbis of old chose quality over quantity and it seemed to have worked, but on the other hand, the question then surfaces and asks, what did we sacrifice? In the Talmud it tells of a story in which Rabban Gamliel limited enrollment in the yeshiva only to the best students. When he was deposed, they had open enrollment and had to put down many more benches for those students who weren’t up to the former standards but now were able to be admitted.
So one has to ask, is the board or rabbi’s approach correct? Is there a compromise that can make everyone happy? If there are 1000 members, can each one be made to feel special/important or is there going to be a time when people feel lost and disenfranchised? Should there be a cap on membership, just as there is capped enrollment in schools? What do you think?