Exciting News on Adult Education at Holy Blossom Temple
We are delighted to welcome and introduce to the congregation, our new Adult Education Coordinator, Sharoni Sibony.
Sharoni is an experienced educator and life-long learner across multiple disciplines, including Jewish Studies, Jewish Literature and local Toronto history. She has an impressive background in Jewish communal work at the managerial and directorial levels with such organizations as Limmud, Kolel at the Prosserman Centre, and Miles Nadal JCC, where she managed the Jewish Life Department and ran the Downtown Jewish Community Council.
Sharoni also is a self-professed ‘culture-vulture’ and culture-maker. She spent the first year of the pandemic learning Talmud at Yeshivat Maharat and was appointed a Fellow at the ATIQ Jewish maker’s Institute, an Applied Arts Yeshiva. In the second year of the Pandemic, she was artist-in-residence at Miles Nadal during Jewish Disability, Awareness, Accessibility and Inclusion Month. And, for the past decade, she has worked as a tour guide with the Ontario Jewish Archives, Blankenstein Family Heritage Centre!
Sharoni brings to Holy Blossom her wide range of knowledge, experience and expertise in organizational management and educational programming, her tremendous networking skills, and deep engagement within the Jewish Community life. As well she has tremendous enthusiasm and a fresh perspective that already have begun to breathe new life into our Adult Education program and offerings.
We are very fortunate to have Sharoni on board with us, and are so looking forward to working and learning with her!
Your Adult Education Committee,
Gillian Helfield, Chair
Rabbi Yael Splansky
A Message from Sharoni
I live in Toronto but participate in Jewish communities in many places. In addition to this exciting new role at HBT, I will be teaching for the Ryerson LIFE Institute and the Morris Winchevsky School this year and will begin the Jewish Studio Project’s Creative Facilitator Training program in October.
For me, study is a devotional practice and a lifelong endeavour and I am delighted to join the Holy Blossom Temple team, where lifelong learning is also a central value. Holy Blossom has a reputation for excellence and I look forward to working with the community to bring the best and most needed voices forward, to shine a spotlight on the accomplishments of our members, and to create dynamic programs at the intersection of tradition and modernity.
An Important Message from the Adjunct Rabbi Search Committee
The Adjunct Rabbi Search Committee is happy to announce that Rabbi Bill Tepper will serve Holy Blossom as Adjunct Rabbi from mid-December of this year, until June 30, 2022. This is the six-and-a-half-month period between Rabbi Jordan Helfman’s departure for England, and the arrival of a permanent successor on July 1, 2022. That North American-wide search process will take place this fall and winter. Rabbi Tepper will be an essential bridge from Rabbi Helfman’s eight-year tenure to our next Associate Rabbi.
After a fulsome, Canada-wide search process, Rabbi Tepper was enthusiastically selected from among many accomplished rabbis. Rabbi Tepper has successfully led congregations in Canada and the U.S. The Forward featured him as one of “America’s Most Inspiring Rabbis of 2015.” He has done exemplary work in interfaith engagement and allyship for vulnerable communities. This experience will serve our congregation well as he works with our Tikun Olam Department and its many social justice initiatives. Rabbi Tepper’s wisdom and warmth will serve us well as he leads services, teaches our adult and young congregants, and supports our families throughout the life cycle.
You may already know Rabbi Tepper who, with his wife Deborah and son Max, are long-time members of Holy Blossom Temple. Before leaving for Jerusalem and the pursuit of rabbinical studies at Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion, they participated enthusiastically in congregational life, especially in our Shabbat Morning Family Services and Stagecraft. Recently Rabbi Tepper has taught in a number of settings at Holy Blossom, including in our Melton School program, a two-year course of in-depth study. Having already established many good relationships and appreciating Holy Blossom culture will enable Rabbi Tepper to “hit the ground running.”
Please join us in congratulating Rabbi Tepper on his expanded role in our congregation. We will be strengthened by his leadership.
Rabbi Yael Splansky
A Message from Rabbi Tepper
An Ever-Promising Future
Rabbi Bill S. Tepper
For more than twenty-five years, Holy Blossom Temple has been – for my wife Deborah, son Max and I – a spiritual home. It was at Holy Blossom that we embraced Reform Judaism, immersed ourselves in Jewish learning, and devotedly participated in the celebration of our cherished Jewish rituals, traditions, and stories; not to overlook the years of fulfilling community theatre activity. And it was within our Temple’s sacred spaces and inspired by her outstanding leaders and exemplars, that I was put upon the path towards becoming a rabbi.
In the privileged role of Adjunct Rabbi, I will endeavour – in partnership with everyone for whom Holy Blossom holds a special place in her or his heart, to nurture meaning and reward by way of our welcoming sanctuaries, dynamic classrooms, inviting meeting rooms, beautiful atrium and inclusive streaming service. And I look forward – above all else, perhaps – to the establishment and cultivation of enduring relationships; relationships imbued with caring and trust; relationships at the center of which are kavod – respect – and hesed – kindness.
With Deborah and Max, I thank every one of Holy Blossom Temple for inviting me to be a part of our congregation’s ever-promising future.
Download the Prayerbook
You are welcome to pick up a gift copy of the High Holy Day prayerbook for home use, or if you prefer to follow online, the pages of the prayerbook can be accessed here.