Monday Evening, September 12, 2016 / 10 Elul, 5776
by Amy Wynne
From the beginning of Makom last year, our family has participated in a number of activities; many of these special times have taken place in Rabbi Bravo’s home. How warm and inviting! We have baked challah, shared Rosh Hashanah dinner, eaten in a sukkah, attended Shabbat dinners, baked hamantashen, listened to the reading of the Megillah, barbecued for Lag B’Omer, participated in musical Shabbat services. Listening to the sound of the shofar during the High Holy Days is always special. We have enjoyed praying alongside the beautiful scenery of Oyster Bay and casting rocks that behold our written messages into the water for Tashlich. We have been lucky enough to dance and sing as we unrolled the Torah for the joyous holiday of Simchat Torah. My daughters have joined me at the Women’s Seder and our entire family has participated in a Passover Seder for the second night of the holiday. Worshipping in the beautiful setting of a park this spring has also been a highlight. Women’s Rosh Chodesh discussions have helped me think about how Torah relates to my daily life.
As a family, we have enjoyed participating in many activities with our daughter Melissa’s Moadon class. Last fall we visited a tenement house on the Lower East Side and learned about life long ago. Together we have also created keepsake items for holidays that will be displayed prominently in our home for many years.
There are so many happy times when we have worshipped with Makom. I believe, however, that you truly know who is there for you in times of sorrow. This past December my Dad passed away. I shared the sorrowful news with Rabbi Bravo and I immediately felt comforted. The cantor from my Dad’s synagogue officiated at his funeral. During the service, when I turned around, who was there for me? Rabbi Bravo.
The Rabbi and her crew, my Makom family, later joined me in my home for shiva to help me mourn the loss of my Dad. Coming directly from a Makom event, and smelling of latkes, the prayer minyan began and Mourner's Kaddish was recited. What meant so much to me, as Chanukah was just beginning, was the lighting of the Chanukah candles with my children and my loved ones who were supporting me in my time of need.
Rabbi Bravo has always been caring and supportive. She worked with our oldest daughter, Brenna, as she became a Bat Mitzvah. Rabbi has shown us compassion and helped our family through some rough times. Rabbi Bravo has also been there to cheer on our daughter, Haley, as she performed in a musical theater production.
We once again look forward to celebrating happy times and sharing life’s milestones with Rabbi Bravo and Makom. We are eagerly anticipating November 12th as our daughter Haley will become a Bat Mitzvah. We look forward to hearing David Bravo’s beautiful music played during a meaningful and spiritual ceremony led by Rabbi Bravo.
For so many reasons I am grateful for our Makom. My wish is that others find their own Makom where there is joy, love, support, Judaism, and community.