The Isaac M. Wise Temple is proud to celebrate with the 30 high school seniors who recently completed their studies at Kulanu, Cincinnati’s Reform Jewish High School.
“This is an incredibly impressive and dedicated group of seniors,” commented Rabbi Lewis Kamrass. “Each of them has given so much to our community both here at Wise Temple and around the Greater Cincinnati Jewish Community. While we will definitely miss them next year, we know that they are all off to new and wonderful things. All of the rabbis wish them continued success and fulfillment, and trust that they know that they always have a home here at Wise Temple.”
The students marked their official graduation from Kulanu on two different occasions. On Sunday, May 20, they joined their fellow students from other congregations in the school’s joint ceremony at Valley Temple. In addition to this, the students came together for a congregational celebration on Friday, May 11 as part of the Wise Temple Shabbat worship service.
In preparation for the Shabbat experience, the students were asked to write about what Judaism means to them. These writings were compiled into a booklet that was distributed to the congregation at this service.
The students wrote about the importance of Jewish community. As one senior noted, “Being a Jew means that I have a very special connection to a lot of people that most people may never get to experience.”
The students also addressed how much they enjoyed and learned from various Jewish experiences and activities. These include their early education in Wise Temple’s Open Room program, their trips to Israel, their summers at Jewish overnight camps, and their work as madrichim (teaching assistants) at the Wise Temple Religious School.
As the students prepare to move on to their next chapter in life, they anticipate continuing their commitment to Jewish learning and engagement. Another student shared, “Judaism to me is a never ending journey of questions and community.”
The 30 students will be attending a wide range of colleges and universities. Wise Temple will keep in touch with each of these students through monthly emails, holiday packages and rabbinic visits to the nearby colleges.