I have been a member of this congregation for seven years, serving on the board of directors and various committees, attending Mishpacha with my family and happily attending many social events and services. However, on Saturday, May 26, 2007, I experienced my proudest Or Ami moment when I attended the service in which Brandon Kaplan became a Bar Mitzvah. It was a beautiful Saturday morning; the sanctuary was full and alive with Cantor Doug Cotler’s music; and there was Kleenex in every hand! Brandon stood on the Bima – a young man who has managed to overcome so many challenges to reach this milestone. More challenges than should be allowed for someone that age. I am watching a family who never fails to be positive, supportive and giving. I am listening as Rabbi Paul Kipnes tells us that this moment is special and yet normal. No, it was not the most traditional service: a web-cam and 103 year-old grandpa lead the Motzi from across the country. Yet it was so traditional in that like every other B’nai Mitzvah, there was the boy Brandon leading the congregation in prayer. Whether you understood the sign language or not, you understood the significance of the day. I have never felt prouder to be part of a congregation that is so inclusive and able to adapt tradition to suit every need. To me the greatest part of Or Ami is our ability to reach out to everyone with a warm, welcoming hand and satisfy spiritual needs in ways that are as diverse as our members. What a gift to have been a part of this celebration and a part of Congregation Or Ami!