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Co-President’s Column: My Introduction

MCJC CONNECTIONS
July/August 2018 ~ Tammuz/Av/Elul ~ Volume 5778

Dara Turnball

By Dara Turnball, MCJC Co-President

Hello MCJC! Many of you know me, some of you well, some of you not sowell, and some not at all, so I figured with my first newsletter article I would introduce myself.

I have lived in Woodstock my entire life (except for going to Chicago for college.) But it wasn’t until my adulthood that I found my Jewish home at MCJC. My mother raised my brothers and me as Jewish, but we celebrated all the other holidays with the larger family. So growing up, my spirituality was very eclectic to say the least; in fact when I visited Ireland, I fell in love with a castle that housed
nuns and told my mom I wanted to live there!

But when I started to read about Judaism and really understand the historic significance of things, I found my true spiritual home. I’m so glad I was able to share that with my two sons. Seth, my oldest, just had his Bar Mitzvah here at MCJC. It was a beautiful moment to watch him up there after all his hard work. I’m excited to see that same thing happen in a few years when my youngest, Eli, reads from the Torah.

MCJC is very blessed with passionate teachers who truly care for the children in our school, and it’s amazing to watch them all grow, learn, and question together. With programming running Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, there is plenty of time for our youth to learn and grow their own Jewish identities, and I hope with the coming school year the process of Jewish education will become one that allows for that passion to thrive in our students.

Education is a great passion of mine; I think that we must all be life-long learners. I’ve been working in schools for the past five years. Before that I was with a marketing firm as the head of the video department. I’ve taken several different professional paths, but
each one taught me valuable skills and life lessons, which helped me to become who I am today. I just finished my Masters this May and am excited for the next step in my career.

I became a part of the MCJC board shortly after joining as a member. I think the idea of helping and giving back to organizations that do so much for you and your family is a key component to living a full life. Often times we are so rushed with today’s world and the need to achieve, we forget to calm ourselves and to really be present in the moment. Becoming a leader at MCJC was daunting, but the reward is amazing. I’ve learned a lot about myself as I’ve volunteered to help with various things throughout MCJC.

There is that old saying, “If not now, when? If not me, who?” I believe this to be very true. If we don’t make time now, then we won’t. If we don’t step up to the plate to be a part of our community, then who will? MCJC needs all of us working together to foster an open and caring place for our members and visitors. That being said, during the coming year there are going to be ample opportunities for you to step up to the plate and become a part of MCJC, and I encourage you to do so!