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Life & Legacy

For nearly a century, Shaare Zion has opened its doors to every Jewish community member. Religious or secular, rich or poor, or, simply seeking, each of us has found a spiritual home that is warm, welcoming, dynamic and inclusive. Laughter and tears bring us together to celebrate and mourn each milestone in a supportive environment. Young adults return to reconnect with their Jewish roots. Worship is inclusive, participatory, and inspired by a deep choral music tradition.

As a collective family, we are as deeply committed to traditional-egalitarian Judaism, as we are curious, critical, compassionate, and blessed with a culture of forward-thinking leadership. Lifelong learning is as central to meaningful Jewish living for us as is our sense of community responsibility – tikkun olam, and all that we do is with open hearts and minds.

Legacy donors are Shaare Zion members like you who want to ensure that our exceptional community endures long into the future. They share the commitment to safeguard the long-term vitality and stability of our congregation so that Shaare Zion will be here for generations to come.

At time of publication, 18 members have joined in this significant venture and we are hoping to sign up another 25 people.

Join us by making your legacy gift today!

For further information, please contact Myriam Bensimon, 514-481-7727, ext.227


Life and Legacy – Wendy Rapps

Shaare Zion Congregation has been a part of me, and I have been a part of it for over sixty years. It is a place I warmly call “Home.”

As I walk up the building’s steps and enter the sanctuary, I am flooded with memories that warm my soul.

I am taken back to 1960 before Shaare Zion adopted mixed seating. I am a toddler in diapers, dressed in my prettiest party dress, seated between my mother and grandmother in the 2nd row of the Women’s section.

My father winks at me from his aisle seat in Row B in the Men’s section. He is seated with my grandfather, a founding member of the shul, and my brother. Rabbi Cohen and Cantor Gisser are larger than life and I sit timidly in awe of the service.

A few years later, I am a student at Shaare Zion Academy, and we are brought to the sanctuary to celebrate Sukkot, Simchat Torah, and for various school assemblies. Accompanied by my teachers and classmates, I feel more at ease in the sanctuary. It is less ominous and more welcoming.

Several years pass and Shaare Zion has instituted mixed seating. We are now seated as a family unit, 3 generations, in Row B center aisle. The services, prayers and choir have become very familiar, as are the faces of fellow congregants who we greet year after year. It feels so right that when I marry my husband, Stephen and start a family of our own, we continue the tradition.

We raise 3 sons and celebrate their Bar Mitzvahs under the guidance of our new Rabbi, Rabbi Moses. His service is so warm that this new Rabbi makes us feel as if he has known us forever.

The years pass so swiftly and the little girl in diapers is now a grandmother. The Davis/Rapps clan represent 4 generations and we crowd into our row with my parents, sons, daughters-in-laws and 4 grandchildren!

The wonderful history I have shared with the shul, the deep connection, and the sense of community I feel at Shaare Zion propelled me to become more involved. I have served on search committees for a Rabbi and Cantor, I joined the Board and am currently a member of the Executive. It is truly fulfilling to be an integral part of the very community that has wrapped its arms around me in the happiest and saddest moments of my life.

When I first learned of the Life and Legacy program, it resonated with me instantly.

It offers me the perfect opportunity to ensure Shaare Zion’s future and vibrancy after I am gone.

I am proud to be one piece of the puzzle that will ultimately protect the future of Shaare Zion.

May four generations continue to crowd the rows of the sanctuary and may Shaare Zion continue to wrap its arms around all those who need a spiritual hug.

Sun, 13 June 2021 3 Tammuz 5781