What A Ride! by Susan Jacobs, Director of Education

Working at Temple Beth El has been a roller coaster ride over the past few months.  So many things are happening.  Rabbi Judy leaving. Rabbi Jonathan leaving. Rabbi searches happening. Rabbi Knight beginning in July. Rabbi Klass beginning in July. Now we are beginning a search for a new Director of Youth Engagement.  The new DYE beginning in July. With all this change comes a wide variety of emotion.

We have totally hit the jackpot in the rabbi lottery!  I am so excited and eager to begin working with Rabbis Knight and Klass.  They are exceptional.  I was so impressed with each of them throughout the search process and along with the rest of the leadership team, I see a very bright future ahead for Temple Beth El.  I am so looking forward to being a part of their vision and leadership as we move forward.  Temple Beth El is our home and I am grateful that we will all find ourselves in such competent and compassionate hands.

And with the excitement of what’s ahead comes the reality of what will change.  Rabbi Jonathan has been a pillar of support and dedication to our temple and especially to the Religious School.  He has taught our Sheva (7th grade) classes for years and been an integral part of our Hebrew High program.  I cannot thank him enough.  His wisdom is immense, he has been a dear friend and I am grateful to him for all he has done.

Now I feel like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz! “Oh, Rabbi Judy, I will miss you most of all.”  I know that many of you feel the same way because I have had so many conversations about her leaving.  In Pirkei Avot 1:6 it says, “Get yourself a teacher, make yourself a friend”.  Rabbi Judy has been my teacher.  She has taught me to be open to everyone and to do whatever is in my power to be kind and helpful. She has taught me never to be daunted by the enormity of a situation because there is always a compromise or solution even if it takes years.  She has taught me to be grateful for the blessings I have and for the lives that I touch.  She has taught me to love God, Israel and Judaism in a deep and profound way. And Rabbi Judy is my friend; my dear friend- and I will miss her. Everyone at Religious School will miss her.  She is a constant presence in our classes and our students adore her.  There are not enough words to properly thank her. Simply put, “We love you, Rabbi Judy.”

So, I am in that crazy place at the top of the roller coaster where everything slows down and I know that I am about to throw my hands up in the air and have the ride of my life.  The cars are filled with beloved colleagues with whom I work and the families and congregants I serve.  We have come so far and we have such a bright and exciting adventure ahead of us. And we’re off…