Temple Beth Torah is a wonderful community! My wife Deborah, our daughter Chloe and I are excited to be part of it. I am particularly thrilled to be working with wonderful lay leaders and staff, all of whom are committed to the growth and future of our TBT community.
During my first year, I have been getting to know our current members. Parsha Terumah describes the building of the Mishkan, the portable worship space the Israelites carry through the desert. The Lord specifies that the cherubim, angelic creature, on the Mishkan should face each other. We are taught that it is important to face each other to build community. I believe good personal relationships are the basis for a vibrant and respectful community. I try to live that belief. I am so grateful to members who have opened their homes for informal gatherings; giving me an opportunity to meet members across our multiple communities. I also try to meet members for coffee or lunch. I plan to continue this often throughout our years together.
My rabbinic training at the Ziegler School grounded me in Conservative Judaism that is not only meaningful, and based on tradition, but also relevant to our lives today. My goal at Temple Beth Torah is to make this a reality for all of our members. Through some adaptation of services, such as monthly Torah study, Havdallah B’nai Mitzvot, with the help of Cantor Linda’s beautiful melodies, and with advice from our Ritual Committee, I want us to find joy and spirituality, as well as learning, when we worship together.
In addition to services, I am also teaching 7th grade in the Religious School – something I love. I co-lead workshops for families in the Religious School and of course Cantor Linda and I lead Tot Shabbat and B’Yachad services for our youth. I am working with lay leaders to find new ways to strengthen our teen programming, including re-introducing a teen confirmation class, as well as social activities. With encouragement from some of our younger lay leaders, I am developing short videos to make adult education available electronically, as we all know how precious time is to all of us. The first video was about parenting as a spiritual activity.
Our synagogue has many wonderful and supportive interfaith families who worship with us as an integral part of our community. As part of my work, I am involved with the Metrowest Interfaith Dialogue project, which I believe strengthens all our families and communities. If you are a prospective member, I personally invite you to meet to explore how Temple Beth Torah may be your future spiritual home. Please know that I am always available to answer questions any family members may have about Judaism and Jewish family life.
Please do not hesitate to contact me through the TBT office, 508-429-6268, or via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rabbi Steven Edelman-Blank