There are lots of folks who have never belonged to a synagogue community. And in their spiritual journey they seek out the benefits of belonging to a synagogue. The benefits are many. It is hard to be Jewish on your own. Oh, I know people do it all the time. They are unafilliated. In fact in Los Angeles more Jews don’t belong to a synagogue than do. It can be intimidating if you don’t know the synagogue culture. It can be expensive. It can be frustrating. After all a synagogue is made up of people!!!!
And every synagogue community is a bit different. That has some further frustrations.
And yet taking a spiritual journey with a group of people can be one of the most exciting and meaningful adventures that you have ever been on. Living out your values, doing acts of justice, mercy and kindness, learning and learning and growing some more; making new friends. Feeling like you finally belong. Knowing you have come home. Seeking peace. These are some of the intangible benefits of belonging to a sacred community.
And there are practical benefits. You might learn to finally read Hebrew. You might learn some new music. You will have a rabbi and cantor to guide you and be with you as you travel through life. If you are blessed with children, you have a place to educate them.