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Our promise today for your pledge for tomorrow

02/02/2021 12:58:40 PM


by: Marcie Scudder 

One of my most powerful memories of skiing in Stowe was Christmas Day. On that day, we had the whole mountain to ourselves. We believed it our little secret gift. We thought ourselves special. Others did not.

Among that blur of childhood memories is that of knowing that although the mountain was welcoming, not everyone was. There were clubs where we Jews were not invited. There were signs outside hotels loudly declaring: “No Jews Allowed.”

I was a child. My father loved and lived to ski. Thinking back, we could have skied anywhere. He chose this magical place, in spite of knowing that with a name like “Abramowitz” there were places we could not go.

We rented our first house when I was nine years old. As serendipity would have it, the owners were one of the few Jewish residents here in town. Immediately, there was a connection. A familiar mezuzah on the doorpost. A menorah sitting on the mantle. And candlesticks set aside for Shabbat.

Even at that young age, I wondered what it might have been like to be the onlies… the ones who did it differently… the ones who weren’t quite welcome but who still called Stowe home.

Eventually, and many years later, my mother uprooted and chose to make herself a new life here. A Holocaust survivor, coming from a large and tightly-knit Montreal Jewish community — she knew that in order to thrive… to feel safe…to grow, she’d need to plant roots. And those roots were in the form of a place in which Jews could congregate and gather. Determined to make Stowe her home, she, along with others, began the arduous process of planting the seeds that were the beginnings of JCOGS. A Jewish Community Center for all of Stowe and its surrounds.

A foundation was poured. Floors and walls and a roof took form. A religious leader and rabbi were hired. Jewish people began to openly gather and connect. Children were educated in a tradition that we know is our duty to pass on. L’dor V’dor. From one generation to another. No Jewish family need ever do it ever again alone. 

And - here I am. Hineini. I, too, have now made this magical place in these mountains my home. My mother lived and died here. My daughter was married here. My grandchildren have celebrated their mikvot here in my pond. In some bizarre and unexpected way — I’ve been handed this torch. I honor this gift. I will carry it on.

It’s for this reason that we’ve committed ourselves to the L’dor vaDor Society. We have a duty to nurture what my mother and her generation began. We have a responsibility to the many generations that follow, ensuring they will never be the onlies.

My husband Bill and I are moved that JCOGS has launched a L’dor vaDor Society, that the board is working proactively to ensure my mother’s legacy of a Jewish home in north-central Vermont. We believe so strongly in the importance of legacy giving that we are making this promise:

For every person who pledges to include JCOGS in their will, we will make a donation to the JCOGS annual fund to say “thank you.” All you have to do is call JCOGS or go on the website to find the pledge form. As soon as you have signed a pledge to support JCOGS with a gift in your estate, we will donate $180 to support JCOGS programs today.

 $180 because this is ten times chai. Chai is life. A pledge and promise to support the Jewish education and life of our children and our children’s children, so they can thrive, feel safe, and grow.

This is our gift of thanks. Thank you for honoring my mother’s work and a community’s vision. Without those who came before us, JCOGS would not be here for us today. Thank-you for embodying l’dor vador. From generation to another.

Click here to fill in the form and pledge that you will write JCOGS into your will. If you have any questions, contact our main office at 802-253-1800.

 So no Jewish family need ever do it ever alone again. 

Sun, March 7 2021 23 Adar 5781