B’Sheret – usually people use this word when they are talking about their beloved, but it can also be used when talking about dear friends.
Before the summer of 2021, Suzanne Dropkin, Sue Lichtenstein and Ilene Greenberg had never met. In July, Suzanne and Sue each went to their first Beth El Singles Circles event and discovered they both have children of similar ages going to school in Orlando. They had such a good time, Suzanne and Sue went to the next Singles Circle and met Ilene. At the Circle, the three learned they share many interests and really enjoy each other’s company. A friendship was born!
Sue described how meeting Suzanne and Ilene changed her life. “I enjoyed many Beth El youth events with my children and in even became a Bat Mitzvah myself in 2019, but something was still missing. I wanted to attend services more regularly but did not have friends with the same level of interest and availability. Everything changed when I met Suzanne and Ilene through Beth El Circles. The three of us are constantly making plans with one another for Temple activities and just spending time together.”
“One of the things I found challenging after separating from my husband was finding the emotional support I needed,” Ilene shared. One of the first groups I attended was the Singles Circle. Almost instantly I became friends with Sue and Suzanne and our friendship continues to grow.”
Suzanne concludes the story of this terrific trio saying, “Having recently moved to Florida as a new widow, I knew no one. I joined Temple Beth El because I loved the Temple’s online presence of streaming services during Covid and the culture that focused on making such a big synagogue feel small through Beth El Circles and Kulanu Chavurot. I joined the Singles Circle with some trepidation but immediately found kindred spirits in Sue and Ilene.”
Their friendship led to the three of them co-hosting Night of 50 Shabbats and inviting other Beth El women who wanted to participate. Very recently, with the help of Rachael Rand, Engagement & Programming Senior Associate at Temple Beth El, the three women, Suzanne, Sue and Ilene have started a chavurah (a small friendship group based on ages and stages). They are currently making plans to grow their new group of friends and further deepen their connection.
You can explore your shared interests while making new friends too! Check out Beth El Circles to learn more or sign up.