This coming Sunday, February 22 at 3:00pm, TBS will have the very rare honor of hosting the leader of the entire Reconstructionist movement, Rabbi Dr. Deborah Waxman, and I want to strongly urge the entire membership to come out and greet her. For some, this may mean arranging child care. For others, it may mean postponing a shopping trip or a movie. Regardless of the inconvenience that may be involved for some of our members to attend Rabbi Waxman’s presentation, I cannot emphasize enough how important it is that we put our best foot forward on Sunday and come out in the largest numbers possible.
Why should you make Rabbi Waxman’s visit to TBS a high priority?
1) The support of the Jewish Reconstructionist Communities, the new name for the recently merged Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and Jewish Reconstructionist Federation, is absolutely critical to TBS at this moment in our history.
We are engaged in a major campaign to raise the funds for a full-time rabbi, and we will soon begin the long, deliberate search for someone to lead the congregation by the fall of 2016. Meanwhile, we are all concerned about the future of TBS in terms of finances, membership and program.
We will be calling upon the College and the movement to assist us in all these endeavors, but especially with rabbinic placement. A strong showing on Sunday will send the message that TBS is here to stay and the Reconstructionist presence in our neck of the Pacific Northwest is alive and well. The more loudly we can send this message, the more eager the staff of the College and the movement will be to work with us. We want Rabbi Waxman to go back to Philadelphia impressed by our community so she can earnest say that TBS is a great congregation that deserves a great rabbi.
2) Rabbi Waxman is a major leader in the American Jewish community, whose visit should rightly engender excitement and honor. To have the president of a seminary and the leader of a movement visit you in your synagogue is really a huge deal, no matter what movement you’re in!
If her position as president of RRC isn’t sufficient reason to feel honored by her presence, her contributions to the movement certainly are. Not only is Rabbi Waxman a classmate and personal friend of mine, she is also an impressive scholar, administrator and rabbi. I worked very closely with her throughout my tenure as dean of admissions and then as director of annual giving. I know better than most of my colleagues in the movement how hard Rabbi Waxman has worked since joining the staff of the college in 1999 and how tremendous an impact she has had on RRC and the entire Reconstructionist movement. She deserves all the appreciation we can show her.
As you can tell, I’m quite passionate about having you attend Rabbi Waxman’s presentation. It is in the best of interest of our community to come hear Rabbi Waxman, and it is the right thing to do.
Rabbi Dan Aronson