Sarah Starks, 22 years old, 4th generation Emanu-El member

“I am a fourth generation Emanu-El member. My great-grandmother was a docent at the temple and worked in the Temple gift shop; my great-grandfather was on the board when the stained glass windows were installed in the Main Sanctuary. My grandmother helped to lead 7th grade Mitzvah Kitchen for almost a decade. And my mother taught preschool before becoming the Teen Programs manager a few years ago. We all went to Sunday school here and Emanu-El is clearly our 2nd home.

Growing up at Emanu-El,  I have always appreciated the connections cultivated here and have always felt a part of the community. As a Jew of Color, I never felt out of place; I always felt embraced and empowered. I was given so many special opportunities at Emanu-El, such as coming a bat mitzvah in Israel, becoming a teen teacher and participating in Shalhevet, Diller Teen Fellows and being a counselor at Camp Tawonga. Emanu-El laid my Jewish foundation and all of these amazing opportunities would not have been possible without this community.  I am happy to be a part of the caring, accepting and respectful community in which I have also had the pleasure of helping to cultivate.”