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DN: The Early Years - Reflections from Fredelle and Harold Brief

29/05/2018 02:41:19 PM

May29

My early memories of Darchei Noam are bound with the sense of intimacy within the new congregation. Most of the members had young children, and a majority of those had their roots in other communities in Canada and the United States. In Canada, Winnipeg, Montreal, and the east coast come to mind, and we were also blessed with members from the USA. People formed social friendships that were more like the relationships within extended families. Women nursed their babies in the back of the service and the kids stayed with us in the service and played on the floor. We were an itinerant congregation, so that siddurs and the Torah all had to be packed up, along with juice and cookies for the children, in someone’s car who could drive it to the next Shabbat service. We were fortunate when the High Holidays occurred on a weekend so that we could rent a high school auditorium. But mostly I remember our earnest conversations during Kiddush where we all expressed with passion our opinion on the parsha or on community issues. Later, when one of the kids became bat/bar mitzvah, we all brought along food for a special Kiddush -- no catering in those days.

I love the shul now, but I miss the intimacy of our informal beginnings. 

 

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