Synagogue = cookies
I had a lovely visit earlier this year from a young mum and her 3 year old son. Usually he came to synagogue on a Saturday morning; either for our Tots service or creche, where he was used to receiving a treat like a cookie or a muffin. Half way through our meeting, he started pulling on mum's sleeve and trying to ask her for something secretly. Finally we worked out that he was looking for cookies. He couldn't understand where they were. In synagogue, you get cookies. I had to explain that cookies were for Shabbat, but I was secretly delighted - what a brilliant association to have with shul (synagogue) - if everyone associated such positive experiences with coming to the synagogue we'd be full on a shabbat morning! I hope his memories of synagogue are always positive, and that at some point in the future we have as many people coming to celebrate on Simchat Torah and Purim, as we have coming to mourn on Yom Kippur and Yom HaShoah.