June 2 has been sneaking up quietly over the past year since I advised Temple Shalom that I’d
like to step back from the position of pulpit rabbi. It has been absolutely the very best of times –
– for me for sure and hopefully for the congregation and our community.
So many of you have allowed me into your lives and into the quiet spaces and conversations
where life is really shared. It is a gift that you have provided me, and I continue to be amazed
how much our Jewish tradition has helped me grow. We are all each other’s teachers and at the
same time each other’s students.
The more I am around liberal Judaism, here or in observing the changing North American
Jewish demographics, the more I come to believe that this is the natural landing spot for our
Jewish community. We have a unique view of the Torah and our sacred texts that allows us to
study deeply for underlying values and uniquely Jewish framings, and to find a way to express
our Judaism in modern times.
Our entire experience of Judaism has been about adaptation to change and inevitably not just
about surviving and thriving, and that includes changes within our Temple. We have a deserved
place and voice in this community. It starts with each of us committing to our “brand”, not just
in our thoughts but in our specific actions. Hillel proposed two sharp but contemplative
questions 2,000 years ago – if not me, then who? And, if not now, when?
We will survive and we will change and we will grow, if we choose to do so … especially if we
step out of our comfort zones and respond not only to our dilemmas but by choosing to look
forward and asking, “how can I help us in building a bright future?” These are questions that I
have asked myself and will continue to ask, and I hope that there is a very large group of us
committed to do the same.
Much love to you all,