Dear Amy: My mom passed away last year, and according to Jewish custom it’s appropriate to go to temple for 11 months to recite the Kaddish. We are not members of a temple, so my husband and I visited a few before selecting one that appealed to us. We thought we would attend for a while before deciding about joining.
However, after months and months of regular attendance, no one from the congregation ever approached us to introduce themselves or welcome us. The silent treatment continued even after services, as the congregation gathered in a more casual setting to say the kiddush (a less formal blessing) over the wine and bread.
Was it our place to introduce ourselves to the rabbi and members of the congregation? Or are we just to assume that this congregation is not interested in having us as fellow members? — Wondering
I shared your query with Rabbi David Sandmel of Temple Sholom in Chicago. Sandmel and I agree that the only definite assumption to make is that this particular congregation doesn’t quite have its act together in terms of welcoming new members, and your shyness isn’t helping.