|Perhaps the best way to experience T&V short of attending services is to listen to our members. Here is a compilation of comments from a recent questionnaire that asked congregants how they would describe various aspects of T&V observance and activity.
“T&V has an atmosphere of genuine, interpersonal warmth and friendliness which is welcoming, inviting, hospitable and which creates and deepens a sense of belonging.”
“T&V draws from a variety of neighborhoods throughout New York City; it is non-judgmental, color blind, and accepts everyone’s level of observance with children welcomed (treated as people), seniors taken into consideration, and special attention given to the needs of the handicapped. There is an outreach to emerging constituencies, with a Learner’s Minyan helping newcomers, including a substantial number of Jews by choice who feel comfortable and involved. It is unpretentious and open to people of diverse backgrounds and financial capabilities”.
“T&V has made the transfer of leadership from the founding generation. The wide range of ages of members defies polarization; there is a unity from uniformity of concern. Everyone is friendly, regardless of age or marital status. All age groups participate in most events. We are almost 50 years old: we keep growing, with new faces, old and young, all the time.”
“At T&V there is a genuine willingness to reach out and help whether on a one-to-one basis or through communal mechanisms like Bikur Cholim or Shiva minyanim. There is support and caring among members. We celebrate simchas together, invite each other to our homes, have fun together. Synagogue Shabbat dinners are opportunities for young and old to share experiences and be together. People who don’t come on Shabbat morning miss the camaraderie. No one is alone in time of mourning; people are there to help.”
“We pride ourselves on the large and increasing number of people who attend Shabbat services – Friday night and Saturday morning. It prides itself on the high percentage of members of all ages, and the number continues to grow, who participate in and lead services – with over 60 Torah Readers! It notes the relatively high level of observance among its members for a Conservative synagogue, and that parents and their children who join for Benei Mitzvot stay as members.”
“I think it was the first Candy Shabbat that did it for me. I don’t know if it was the candy or the Shabbat, but here in a little synagogue known only by its initials, I finally felt a sense of home.” Excerpt from “Town and Village shul: a bit of KC in NYC,” online edition of The Kansas City Jewish Chronicle, May 11, 2001.