Just met Dr. Freeman again

I had a very sweet few moments recently.  It started nine years ago.

Our first year here I was going office to office selling calendar ads.  While trying to get ahold of a Dr., I’m standing in the waiting room and someone says, “Shalom.”  We started talking and sure enough Dr. Neal Freeman is Jewish (he was a patient, not the Dr. I was looking for).

We put on tefillin then and there, and I took his number.  He came for Shabbos dinner the next Friday, and while it was a nice interaction, he made it clear that he’s not really interested in getting involved in a synagogue, and as such, we kind of lost touch.

As Covid came, volunteers started delivering holiday packages, we started generating more junk mail and the building campaign started making noise.

I think it was last year that Dr. Freeman sent in a donation in response to one of our mailers. I’m embarrassed to say that I didn’t even reach out, but when he donated again this year, I made a point to call him.  We met for a coffee yesterday, and his words made my heart warm.

He told me how proud he is of what we’re doing, how important our work is, and how he has quietly been watching us for years.  “It’s so refreshing to see such a young couple land in a strange place and not even ten years later, a community center is becoming a reality!”

He expressed an interest to learn more about Judaism, and we spoke about Torah, the purpose of Jews & Gentiles and what G-d expects of us.  I hope we can start some classes again, because it seemed like he’d be interested in them.  JLI would be great if we can pull it off.

We took a trip out to the property, where the boys set up the pump and generator to “drain the swamp”.  In the next couple weeks, with Hashem’s help, things will start to move very fast.

And on that note, this week’s Torah portion is all about building the Temple.  If you think you can get involved in making this eternal gift to the Jewish community a reality, please reach out to me.


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