I write as our Cantor is on the way to Israel for a well-deserved sabbatical. He will be riding from Jerusalem to Eilat as part of the 2017 Israel Ride sponsored by the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies and Hazon. Many of us were introduced to Hazon’s great work creating healthier and more sustainable communities when we hosted a couple of their cross country bike rides a few years ago (and I got to ride along for part of the journey). And the Arava Institute is a crucial research and teaching program in the Middle East. He will be joined on the ride by his wife, Debra Gorra Barash, and by our member, Amy Ginsberg. We wish them a wonderful experience and we look forward to their return. And may our Cantor find renewal and “reJewvenation” during these next couple of months.
We also extend our prayers and wishes to Ardyth Majewski during her recovery following her accident. Ardie has helped make our congregation home to so many of us over the last quarter century. We are missing her voice answering the phone and her smiling presence as she welcomes us when we enter our synagogue. To Ardie and her husband, Roy, a full and speedy recovery.
And I look forward to a return soon to my full schedule. Fortunately, torn quads heal. I thank God daily for the miraculous healing powers within us. Your kind notes and gifts and donations and prayers are profoundly appreciated. Our deepest thanks to my colleague, Rabbi Toba Schaller, for stepping in so ably during my short full-time absence and my somewhat longer part-time absence. And the rest of our entire staff, including our Executive Director, Andrew Appel, Member Services Director, Margie Stein, clergy assistant, Toni Quartana, and our administrative assistant, Tiffani Zahradnick, will carry us on until we all return recovered and restored.
May we share together our many thanks as we celebrate that day so Jewish and so American at one and the same time- Thanksgiving. At the same time, let us heed closely the words of warning about the threats to American democracy shared so eloquently by Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.