For the twenty-five years that Ina and Joel DeLage have made their home in Plano, twenty of those years involved Adat Chaverim. The DeLages have the distinction of being one of our Temple’s Founding Families.
For Ina, who grew up in a Conservative synagogue in Chicago, religion is important: her emphasis has been on the traditions of Judaism.
Joel (also from Chicago and has known Ina since they were very young) grew up in a Jewish household, but was not affiliated with a synagogue.
He welcomed the strong religious background with Ina’s family. It is important to him that Ina is happy, and because he describes himself as being shy, knowing the people in the congregation is important. He speaks of a time after a very serious illness when he was overwhelmed at the greeting he got from everyone in the congregation that evening when he was able to return and attend services.
Their motivation for their involvement at Adat Chaverim speaks of many aspects, “a place to call our religious home,” and “ . . . need(ing) a temple in order to belong . . . just to be Jewish.” Ina has been involved with various Temple positions. One can say she is committed for the long haul. “Our heart is here!” says Ina — and Joel is right beside her.
Joel recalls that even moving from the small storefront to the current synagogue there was challenge to raising the money for renovations. “Of course,” he says, “the cost of renovating and building then wasn’t like what we are looking at now in purchasing land and building a synagogue.” He knows it may take a little doing to raise the necessary funds, but he believes it can be done. “. . . otherwise we’re just a little place,” he says. “We need to survive!”
Both Ina and Joel agreed that what makes Adat Chaverim really special is the friendly atmosphere that never seems to waiver. Asked if a new synagogue with hopefully a growing congregation will impact on that “chavurah spirit,” Joel says:
“There is a culture in this congregation of its friendliness; and, that culture becomes the personality of the congregation.”