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November 13, 2009

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November 13, 2009

I left my previous synagogue when I remarried. I had rarely attended. Rabbi Ted Falcon performed our ceremony in 2000 and we joined shortly thereafter. Six years ago, Rabbi blessed my Bar Mitzvah at age 56. My wife is Vietnamese and comes from a Buddhist tradition but loves our congregation and we never miss a Shabbat when we are in town. She has been warmly welcomed and we are truly part of a loving community. Starting as a cultural Jew with little training, I have found that the Jewish spiritual path, as iterated by Rabbi Ted and his home grown successor, Rabbi Olivier, resonates with me and has imbued my life with deeper meaning and intention, something I never thought would happen given my scientific, reductionist mindset. Finding Bet Alef has been one of the great blessings of my adult life.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I am more generous, less anxious, and have a deeper perspective on the meaning of oneness.

More feedback...

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Open hearted, caring, and sincere in their quest for meaning.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Devote more time to spiritual and Judaic teachings and observances and less time to fund raising and anguishing about how to make budget.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

November 7, 2009

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November 7, 2009

I have not been practicing Judaism for 50 years, after trying many different synagogues. After moving to Seattle, I met Rabbi Ted Falcon through his guest speaking at Center for Spiritual LIving. Came to Shabbat and my first full attendance at High Holidays since I was compelled to go as a child. This immediately became my spiritual home: the peace and joy of the whole Shabbat experience draws me to attending every Shabbat. It is a loving, caring, accepting, and inviting community, now led by Rabbi Olivier Benhaim. He has been a congregant, student, and follower of Ted's for 12 years, continues and expands his teachings and has developed a Family Program in the past two years. My closest associates and best friends are all part of this community, and it has provided exactly the place to fill a hole that has existed in my heart for 50 years. I bless Bet Alef every week for its ability to make me a more complete human being than I am without it.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

bringing prayer, meditation, a full Shabbat experience, and spirituality back into my life.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

have an active and vibrant Volunteer Committee.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The warmth and embrace of the community, the teachings of our rabbis, and the sense of peace at every Shabbat.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Exceptional human beings who willingly share themselves, their time, and their energies for the sake of the greater good of Bet Alef.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

First, have it's own home, where announcements, activities, and functions can be publicized permanently. We become a stronger presence to the larger community than with a leased space. Contribute to other non-profits that desperately need funds.

Ways to make it better...

we had more volunteers willingly participating in all levels of the community.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Financial

One thing I'd also say is that...

It an honor and privilege to be a leader of this community, create a lasting relationship with two rabbis, and develop closer and more meaningful friendships at Bet Alef than I ever had before.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

November 6, 2009

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November 6, 2009

I have been an active member of the Bet Alef Community and it has been part of my extended family for 12 plus years. I love being part of a community that provides a place for supporting the greater Community as well as Spirituality and a place to seek my own identity. For the last 2 years I have been an active Board member helping to guide and build our community during these turbulent times. We are all inclusive - many of our members were not born into Jewish tradition - but have found a "home" from teachings of our Rabbis. It is a healing place for ourselves, our community and our world. Bet Alef is the BEST! Come visit - and you will probably want to stay like I did.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Having a wonderful community to support me in my journey.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Find new members to contribute new energy.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Finding my Jewish Identity and creating a new extended family.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Willing to step up and bring new ideas.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Create programs for people of all ages and stages of their spiritual development.

Ways to make it better...

Others would contribute their energies and show up when it counts.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Bringing in new members that will contribute financially and bring their talents to build our future.

One thing I'd also say is that...

Bet Alef provides an all inclusive space to bring wonderful energies for the greatest good of all.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

October 31, 2009

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October 31, 2009

My family has been part of the Bet Alef community for 7 years, after having belonged to several other Jewish synagogues and communities in the Seattle area in the previous 16 years. We had hesitated to check out Bet Alef because services are held in Bellevue and we didn't think we wanted to drive that far on Shabbat - but by just a short time into our first visit, we knew we had found our spiritual home - and the drive became (most of the time!) another opportunity for contemplation and mindfulness. We also feel very lucky to have become part of the community in time for both of our sons to have become Bar Mitzvah under the tutelage of Rabbis Ted and Olivier.

Photos

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

a profound deepening of my own Jewish learning and connection to the Jewish people and the land of Israel (Rabbi Ted has taken several groups of us to Israel for meditation retreats) as well as an opening to the importance of interfaith work.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the special teachings that Rabbis Ted and Olivier offer on Judaism as a practice of awakening to Oneness and a map of the evolution of consciousness; and the amazing community of kind, generous and warm-hearted people.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

incredibly dedicated and willing to be of service.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

share these Jewish teachings of awakening to the One so much more widely. Many of our members turned away from Judaism ages ago until finding conscious Jewish spiritual practice at Bet Alef. I know there are lots of people who long for this perspective.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

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