This end of the year moment feels like a beginning to me.
We open to a new book of Torah this week - Shemot/Names called Exodus. In it, we read the story of our collective decent into grief and dislocation and make the long journey back to connection and right relationships, with self, other and the divine.
Another new beginning for our community: we launch our new website this week. We share with the wider community who we are, what we value and what we are striving to become. This wonderful new communications vehicle will help us attract people who share our passion for community, learning and right action. We are very grateful to the fantastic IT team and other contributors who shepherded this effort to fruition. So many of us were part of creating the new format, but we must single out and thank new member Bram Moreinis. Bram brought technical skills, project management capacity and his teaching skills (to empower the rest of us!) to this project. You can see for yourself how beautiful the launch is and we will refine and add resources over time. A huge thank you Bram and all the contributors.
I was installed as the new rabbi over the weekend of Hanukkah at a ceremony facilitated by my friend and teacher Rabbi Shefa Gold. Many of you were there - my old and new friends, old and new friends of the Temple as well. It was wonderful to be together in a happy and appreciative spirit. My personal thanks to the many folks who created this beautiful weekend, an excellent and loving team. The installation was another good beginning.
I am finishing my first 6 months as spiritual leader of TI. I have met and fallen in love with so many of you. This is a special "rabbi" kind of love. It never runs out and there is enough for everyone. It is a love that sees us as we are - broken AND full of light. In the light of this love, we are seen as the lovely mess that each of us is. As a community, we strive to feed and support our better selves. I feel that more and more folks are finding meaningful ways into this congregation. I am so grateful to help guide this "holy yearning" into vibrant programs, classes and davenning/worship.
The Semi-Annual Membership meeting is the next step in this process on Sunday January 24 from 9:30-12:00. This open meeting of members and not-yet-members will hear committee reports (short and not boring!) from active sub-groups of the temple. You will hear the goals and aspirations of our education group, adult ed, programming, ritual, sustainability and others. The second half of the meeting will be the time to co-create our calendar of events for the next 6 months and to set some general goals for the next few years as well. There is no better way for you to be part of the development of TI than to come to this meeting and add your aspirations to the mix. A delicious breakfast will be served right at 9:30 and you are invited to remain after 12 for a short Tu B'shevat/Jewish Arbor Day celebration with the Hebrew school.
Please take a moment to visit our website and make a note of up-coming events which may be of interest to you, including classes (Hebrew, Compassionate Listening and Torah) and celebrations (Shabbat services, meals and other holidays).