Photo: A family with Temple Emanuel of Tempe after they were “bageled.”
There have been many creative ways that synagogues have come up to help their members feel connected during the pandemic. Temple Emanuel of Tempe has a unique (and tasty) way to make sure their members know that they are thinking about them.
The “Bageling Project” started in November of 2020. “One of our board members, Emily Schwartz, came up with it,” says Chelsey Falk, b’nai mitzvah coordinator at Temple Emanuel. . “It’s a good idea. It’s been really cute.”
First, they took the whole membership list (about 350 families) and split them into groups. Then a board or staff member each took a list and “bageled” someone. They would drop off a dozen bagels and two “schmears” to a congregant’s doorstep to start the ball rolling.
Included with the bagels is a note with instructions, along with the member list of fellow congregants in the same zip code, so that the bageling chain could continue.
So far, a least 100 people have been bageled.
Chelsey set up a hashtag, #TEOTgetsbageled, so once a member has been bageled they can post a picture on the Tempe Emanuel Facebook page. They also send Chelsey an email so that she can keep track of who hasn’t been bageled yet.
“A couple of times, a person wasn’t able to complete it because they’re not leaving the house,” says Chelsey. “That’s fine. We picked up the chain and continued it for them. We don’t want anyone to miss out on their bagels.”
And even though they are located in Tempe, Chelsey says that the area they cover is extensive. “There’s some people in Scottsdale, and a lot in Gilbert. It’s been nice for people to realize how many (members) are in their area.”
So, if you’re a member of Temple Emanuel and your doorbell rings – it’s either your Amazon order, or you might have just gotten bageled!
For more information, visit emanueloftempe.org.