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What is #IAmNerShalom???

"What is #IAmNerShalom?" Well here is your answer!

#IAmNerShalom & #IAmALightOfPeace is new campaign to take ownership of who we are, while also showing the world we are not afraid to embrace and take pride in our Judaism, our community and our home.

We have begun this campaign by featuring a weekly #IAmNerShalom profile of an individual congregant or family. We hope many of you will choose to participate and share your story of what makes you #IAmNerShalom. 

#IAmNerShalom Profiles

June 7th 2017

From one of our founding families: Carl & I have been an active part of the Jewish community in Prince William County since 1984 when we first joined Congregation Ner Tamid in Woodbridge. Our daughter, Jillian, was almost 3 years old at the time. We are the proud parents of the first Ner Shalom President to have been raised in the congregation.

Carl and I have both served as Sunday school teachers. I have had the opportunity to serve in many positions on the Sisterhood board including president. Carl was part of the Brotherhood (yes, there was a Brotherhood once!) as well as a Trustee on the temple board. It is not unusual to find Carl chopping, planting, fixing or washing somewhere inside or outside the temple. You’ll often find me either tending the Sisterhood gift shop or crocheting items for donation to the area shelters.

We both come from Cranston, RI and had no local family. Congregation Ner Shalom has become like family to us. We raise 2 daughters, Jillian Perry and Deanna JP Clark in this community. We have formed many life-long friendships. Over the years both Congregation Ner Shalom and Congregation Ner Shalom Sisterhood have been there for us offering support and much needed encouragement as I faced some very serious health issues.

I don’t know of a warmer, more welcoming community than Congregation Ner Shalom and I am proud to call them Family.

#IAmNerShalom #IAmALightOfPeace

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May22nd 2017

From Board Member and Religous School Teacher, Jack Waldman: "I, along with my family are members of Congregation Ner Shalom. I grew up in a synagogue where there wasn’t much interaction with children during services so I really didn’t get much out of them. It kind of turned me off for a while. When I moved to Prince William County I decided to go to a service at Congregation Ner Shalom. Glad I did. My wife isn’t Jewish so I was concerned that she may not feel welcomed. Put that concern away once we started to get to know the other members of Congregation Ner Shalom. We felt very welcome. My children went to religious school and developed great connections. Two of my three sons have become a Bar Mitzvah and were confirmed at Ner Shalom, the other is preparing for that honor. What I’ve come to appreciate as my sons have grown up attending services and going to religious school is that how interactive the experience is with children and teens. In fact our Youth Group has actually lead services. Quite rewarding to see such enthusiasm and participation.

As each of my sons became a Bar Mitzvah I’ve seen some changes in them. They are more confident in speaking to groups and in leading projects. They’ve learned how to question and understand ideas that aren’t necessarily black and white. They’ve started to look beyond themselves and to see how they can be involved in the community. Studying to become a Bar Mitzvah and working on a mitzvah project made a difference in their lives and I am grateful that they had the opportunity. Coming to Ner Shalom and finding an open and welcoming community has improved our lives and it's something we are happy to be a part of! 
#IamNerShalom #IAmALightofPeace

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May 16th 2017

From one of our founding families, long-time and multigenerational members, the Nemerows:
We are the Nemerows. Our family has been involved in Ner Shalom since its inception. Larry's parents were among the founding families. Our children began religious school when Rebecca was in fourth grade in 1987. All of our children celebrated their bat/bar mitzvahs at Ner Shalom. Now our grandchildren attend and we are celebrating their bat/bar mitzvahs. Ner Shalom has been a continuous presence in the Prince William County community for many years and our connection to the other religious faiths has been an example of building bridges and understanding that we are all part of the same fabric. #IAmNerShalom #IAmALightofPeace

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May 9th 2017

HI! We're the Abelsons! We like 90s hip hop, camping, and lifting weights. Pete is in the military, which means we are lucky enough to move every 2-3 years; getting to make new friends and have wonderful new experiences. It also means we have to start over every 2-3 years! We found Ner Shalom when we moved to Quantico 6.5 years ago. From the moment we walked in the doors, we were welcomed with open arms. We felt at home within moments, and every time since then, we are greeted like we've been friends for years. During this time our daughter was welcomed into the religious school at a young age. Our son was born while we lived here and welcomed as part of the temple as well. 
 After a year, the military took us on a new adventure. Then 3 years later, brought us right back to NOVA. When we walked through the temple doors, it was like we had never left (after the initial excitement of seeing the members again!). All three of our children are now involved in the religious school and absolutely love going. As parents, we love that our children are involved in their faith at a young age and are learning about what it means to be Jewish. 
We are the Abelsons. We are Ner Shalom.

#IamNerShalom #IAmALightofPeace

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May 1st 2017

From one of our interfaith families, The Pleta family: Like many Northern Virginia residents I am not from here, so when we moved to Prince William County, I didn't know there was a Jewish Congregation basically in my backyard. We travelled to Fairfax County to another congregation for the first few years. When I found Congregation Ner Shalom, I decided to attend services and was welcomed with open arms... literally. It just felt right. Being an interfaith couple, and raising Jewish children can be a challenge, but the members of CNS are so supportive. CNS is home for my entire family now, even my Christian husband feels comfortable. Our children attend Tot Shabbat and religious school, and I am a member of the Sisterhood. CNS reminds me of the small congregation where I grew up in Maryland, which is perfect for our family. #IamNerShalom #IamLightofPeace

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April 19th 2017

From Board member Heidi Milgrim: We joined Ner Shalom over twelve years ago as an interfaith family. My husband was Jewish and we decided to raise our children in the faith. I always felt welcome and a part of the Ner Shalom family and I immediately became involved in the religious school as a board member due to my background in education. I embraced the Jewish life and learned as much about it as I could. I even taught Judaic Studies of T'kun Olum (Repairing The World) one year and served as the Youth Group Advisor for many years. My husband volunteered as a teacher for six years, first as the Comparative Religion Teacher, then as the Confirmation Teacher. After bringing both children to Torah, and being actively involved for many years, I felt the time was right for me to convert. I felt connected to God in a way that I had not before so I decided to come to Torah myself. Both children are in college now and remain close to the many friends that they connected with while here. My closest friends are people that I met through Ner Shalom and I remain as involved and committed as when we first joined.#IAmNerShalom #IAmALightofPeace

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April 11th 2017

From longtime members, Michele and George Jung: We have raised our four sons with the light of peace at Congregation Ner Shalom. For almost 30 years, we have found love, friendship and support, not only for simchas and sadness, but also when attending services, religious school, or social events. Our family has volunteered in a variety of ways; helping when needed, mowing the unruly fields that once existed, planting shrubs and creating the Memory Garden. I have enjoyed opportunities to serve on the Board, teach Cradle Roll and Religious School students, chair the Worship Committee, be a Senior Youth Group leader, and participate in Sisterhood. Although it is now time for this grandmother to rest, I am confident that our new generation of leaders, nurtured here at Congregation Ner Shalom, will sustain the light of peace from generation to generation.
#IAmNerShalom #IAmALightofPeace


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April 4th 2017

From one of our newest members, Fund Raising/ Media Chair and Sunday School substitute, Dr. Harry Kantrovich: 
I had been living in Prince William County since retiring from the Navy in 2003. I checked one synagogue after another throughout Northern Virginia, but never felt welcome. Sometimes, my emails would never be answered or phone messages returned. I was told about Congregation Ner Shalom in Woodbridge, but remember checking it back in 1996, but again felt like an outsider. I sent an email about tickets for the high holidays. My email was answered within minutes. I thought OK, this is a great start. When I parked Rosh Hashanah, I barely had time to get out of my car when one of the members, Heidi, came out, introduced herself and gave me welcome hug. When I entered the sanctuary for services people came and introduced themselves, invited me to sit with their families, and made me feel like I belonged. After services Rabbi Lizz made it a point to come and speak with me, as did the Congregation’s President, Jillian, the Cantorial Soloist Amanda and a fellow Navy retiree, Alec Levy. I went home, told my wife (who is not Jewish), that we were becoming members. She agreed, and has come to and participated in events with me. Congregation Ner Shalom is a welcoming and diverse synagogue who proudly conducts interfaith and multi-cultural services with religious organizations throughout the community. Congregation Ner Shalom, has brought me back to my religion. For that I will be forever grateful. #IAmNerShalom #IAmALightofPeace

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March 28th 2017

From our cantorial soloist and 7th grade Sunday school teacher, Amanda Rosen Jensema
Ner Shalom has been my spiritual home my entire life. It is where I grew up and gained my Jewish identity and now I have the same opportunity for my daughter. Many of my friends from religious school remain my closest friends today. As an adult I am active as a board member, as well as singing with our Rabbi during Shabbat Services as our Cantorial Soloist. We may be a small congregation, but it only takes a single flame to light up the darkness. Ner Shalom is a family; a community that looks out for each other, and brings peace to one another. #IAmNerShalom #IAmALightofPeace

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Thu, June 13 2024 7 Sivan 5784