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Rabbi's Week In Review - 3/22/2021

03/22/2021 03:42:59 PM

Mar22

A Midrash on this week’s Torah portion explains that in Messianic times, when prayers will no longer be necessary, we will still be obligated to recite prayers of gratitude (Vayikra Rabbah 9:7). This was the quote I chose for my rabbinic ordination, as prayers of gratitude are my favorite prayers. (See Modim Anachnu Lach, in the Amidah.) You can never say thank you too many times.

As we approach our Passover celebration and a time of rejuvenation and transition, I offer my thanks and gratitude this week to our Congregation Kol Ami leaders and to everyone on this amazing Jewish journey. To Ellen Karp, our now immediate past president: Thank you for your tireless work in righting the ship and putting us on a solid foundation, from which we can explore in new and creative ways what a spiritually meaningful Jewish community can be. I am grateful for your work and for your friendship.

To Mark Kenneally, our treasurer: In a position that often comes without a plethora of gratitude, you are deserving of much, much gratitude for going above and beyond, and to always working with integrity. We look forward to Aaron Zitron transitioning into that role.

To Wynne Begun, our former membership chair and now president: I cannot think of a better person to put our best foot forward and represent all that is good about Kol Ami.

To Ray Berger: Your guidance as worship chair and your knowledge of not-for-profit dynamics and donor relations have been a wonderful addition to our work. Liz Epstein is taking on the work of donor relations, not her first significant contribution to Kol Ami.

Erica Clinton and Cheryl Gates have been nothing short of amazing in establishing our Family Experience and giving our kids the opportunity to learn Jewish values. With that in mind, I also offer thanks to Brendan Howard for his contributions to our music — both in our worship and for our kids in the Family Experience — and in leading our book club from its inception till now. We welcome Lee Merrill as the new convenor of our Kol Ami Book Club.

Speaking of music, I say thank you to our music director, my worship partner in crime, Lara Steinel. Your attention to detail is a needed antidote for me. Your welcoming nature, generosity of spirit, and constant creative exploration of all that Jewish music has to offer create an environment of connection and spiritual meaning and purpose.  

Pat Clinton as our social-justice chair has made our social-justice work truly a congregation-wide priority, and not just the work of the rabbi. Deborah Hirsch and Charles Smith have greatly enhanced our communications and have done much to keep us connected during this very challenging period of pandemic isolation.

Thanks to all of our past presidents, board members and committee chairs who have moved us forward on our journey. We would not be here without you.

With that, I say thank you to all of you who are part of the Kol Ami family. Thank you for your commitment to this wonderful experiment in synagogue life, for your care and concern for one another, and for making my work as rabbi the blessing that it is. With this first month on the Jewish calendar, the month of Nissan, I am so excited for what the future holds for our kehilah, our congregation community.

Tue, April 20 2021 8 Iyyar 5781