Today is April 14, 2021 /

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Chizuk Amuno Congregation

Building and Being Built

It has been a week of learning new skills. On Sunday Jason Davidov taught me to rake gravel, on Monday Michael Andorsky taught me how to use a drill, on Tuesday Chad from Leathers taught me to use a router and dig and measure post holes, and on Wednesday this rabbi took a few Advil and rested.


Have you been a part of our Playground Build yet? It has been an extraordinary experience in community and an amazing week of camaraderie, skill building, bond building, painting, mud slinging, and sheer joy. Everyone in the building and outside can feel the excitement as we are watching the playgrounds and amphitheater take shape day by day. Children run outside at the end of their school day to see what’s new. Volunteers come check out their handiwork. Parents give hours at the end of their work days. High School seniors spend quality time with their parents over a saw or a drill. Empty nesters build a playground for their grandchildren or your children.

Over the first three days of the Build I have seen friends from every school of Chizuk Amuno, every demographic of the congregation, new members, “old” members, staff, teachers, alumni, even Anna Goldman, Rabbi Goldman’s daughter came from out of town to be a part of the Build.

In the past twenty years I’ve been a part of about half a dozen builds, either with Habitat for Humanity in Baltimore or a Church build in Dillon, South Carolina. Each was inspiring and unique, but never have I felt what is present here this week. There is something of the sacred in the fun and the work of the hands and there is a great deal that is sacred in watching a community build itself while it builds a playground.

What a pleasure and privilege it has been this week to be a part of this building project. We have much more work ahead of us, but even now let us express our gratitude to Project Coordinator Liz Minkin Friedman, chairs Adam Baumwald and Steve Pomerantz, their committees and all our volunteers.

Come volunteer with me tomorrow, Sunday, and Monday and teach me something new. The Advil’s on me!