As our family makes a real home in Vermont, and finds ourselves
ever more attached to this congregation, I was delighted
and gratified to learn that the rabbi search process is now
a thing of the past - - and that that very able committee
will now be serving a liaison function, working closely with
me in further building on our extraordinary gifts while addressing
some of the great challenges that we face as a community.
I hope that I will be able to live up to the confidence they – and
you – have placed in me.
While the search for a rabbi is now behind us, my hope is
that the spirit of search in our congregation will continue – indeed
that it will be more vibrant than ever. Searching is one
of the time honored traditions of our people. Even when we
seem to find – and sometimes what we find is wonderful – that
very finding inevitably triggers new levels of searching.
It was true of Israeli independence. It has been true of
our Greenleaf property. It is true in the relationships we
have found and formed.
The very thoughtful congregational survey we’ve been
filling out over the past few weeks will take us a considerable
distance as we seek to identify and refine our priorities
as a congregation. Here’s some more of the searching
I hope we’ll be able to do together in this important
time in the life of our faith community. Please join me in
expanding upon this wish list.
- To search individually and collectively
for the deeper meaning of our lives; to search for our
for our relationship with the divine – which may
be much the same; to search for ways, in the words of one
articulate member “to raise the ceiling of our sanctuary” yet
further as we evolve a spirituality that resonates with
- And, at the same time, to search for funds
to put a physical ceiling on our new building.
- To search
for ways to inspire as well as teach our children, and
for ways to engage our teenagers and young adults in
activities which will be enriching to them and to the congregation
as a whole;
- And, at the same time, to search for creative
ways to involve and to bring community to our congregants
in their golden
- To search for ways to further
enrich the opportunities for direct involvement of our
members, whether our primary
individual interests lie in our congregation as Beit T’filah – house
of prayer; or Beit Midrash – house of study, or Beit
Ha-Knesset – house of gathering;
- And, at the same
time, to search for innovative ways to bring other Jews
in our area into our midst, expanding our own
perspectives and visions in the process.
- To search for what
is most meaningful and evocative within Judaism itself;
at the same time, to search for ways to extend our remarkable
- To continue our search for ways
to help those most needy in the world, building on our
generous support for initiatives
in the Dominican Republic and Calcutta;
- And at the same
time, to search for ways we can make a difference in our
own neighborhoods and towns.
- To search for ways to discuss
and discern and debate and even protest with ever inquiring
hearts and minds as we
seek what is true and right for our congregation;
- And, at the same time, to search
for the best ways to come together as one community,
whether it be to celebrate together
or to laugh together or weep together; to raise our voices
together in song and in praise for our extraordinary
heritage, and in thanksgiving for being together, whether
in a rented
building, or in an old house, or in a splendid new sanctuary.