Settling into their new home

Posted on May 24, 2021

New members Kara and Jamie Sobin, who live in Hillsborough, are thrilled to have found a spiritual home at Temple Beth-El, along with their children, Celia and Jonah.

Kara grew up in Somerville, where she was very involved in her family’s Baptist church as a child and young adult. In recent years, Kara had found herself searching once again for a sense of religious connection and a way to be involved. But what brought both her and Jamie back to a faith community were some major challenges in 2019 that put the 2020 pandemic in perspective for them. Jamie recalls, “It became really important to us to ground ourselves in a community.”

Jamie, who graduated from SUNY Plattsburgh, had grown up in a Conservative Jewish home “in a very nomadic South Jersey family.” Curious to learn more about Judaism, Kara began exploring whether it was a good fit for her. At the time, Celia was attending the Montessori School in the former TBE nursery school, and the family began going to some events and services at TBE. Kara recalls, “Once I met Rabbi Gluck, I knew this was the place I wanted to be.”

This past year was their first full year of the Jewish lifecycle as a family, culminating in Kara’s conversion, and eight-year-old Celia has been eager to participate in all the holidays and events. So far, her favorite parts have been the Sukkah Jamie built in their backyard, charoses, finding the afikomen and the Purim spiel. The family has recently welcomed little Jonah, who is about six weeks at the time of this writing.

With a masters in public health, Kara, who currently works at the Rutgers Global Health Institute, is interested in education and teaching opportunities. She loves to run, cook and learn more about Judaism. Jamie says his “hobby is hobbies.” In general, he loves creating and building things, such as models and Legos. One of his favorite pursuits is creating balloon animals and structures, such as eight-foot columns of balloons. He recently constructed a whole under-the-sea balloon arch for his niece’s birthday. We predict Jamie will be very popular at next year’s Purim carnival! As sports fans, Kara roots for the Philadelphia Eagles, while Jamie is a big New Jersey Devils fan.

A hearty TBE welcome to Kara, Jamie, Celia and Jonah!

Originally published in the May-June 2021 issue of the  Shofar. For more issues of the  Shofar, visit the Shofar archives.