My formal interview for the position of assistant Rabbi began early on a Sunday morning. The Temple was so full of life and excitement. The kids were laughing, playing, and running the halls (of course, while being told to “slow down”). The teenagers were still trying to wake up. The parents were gathered together throughout the building, enjoying conversations over coffee and bagels. Teachers were briskly walking the halls (not running- so as to set a good example), gathering supplies for their class while the teenage madrichim were joyfully helping usher the students into their rooms. There was no better way to introduce me to this community! I was sold!
The life and vitality of a Temple community is evidenced by the atmosphere during any educational opportunity. When our children are excited to be at Temple (even for those few hours Jaguars on game-days), we are succeeding in our mission to instill a deep love and appreciation for Judaism and a life-long connection, like no other, to a holy community. That is the vision of our community and that is what we strive and work so hard to accomplish. Under the direction of our new TIR director, Ronni Ticker, the plans for this school year are well underway and the momentum is building for another fantastic year of learning and community building. I am looking forward to being a part of it all.
TIR has a vision of life-long learning and there are so many opportunities for everyone in our community to be actively engaged in study with one another. As important as it is for the children to be engaged in Temple learning, so too, is it equally important (if not more) for our children to see the adults engaged in meaningful study and learning. This sets the stage for the future life of our community and ultimately, the survival of our Jewish faith.
Our tradition teaches, “If you have learned much Torah, do not hold fast to it for yourself, but teach it to others, for that is why you were created” (Avot 2:8). Let us continue to engage in words of Torah, pass our knowledge to one another and truly live betzelem Elohim, in God’s image.