From the Co-chairs of the Rabbinic Search Committee
It was just a few short weeks ago that we shared the wonderful news about the hiring of Rabbi Samuel Kaye as our next Associate Rabbi. It was just soon after our announcement that we learned that Rabbi Goodman would be moving on from Holy Blossom to fill a new role in Cincinnati, Ohio. This new challenge did not phase our amazing Rabbinic Search Committee. Energised by the momentum of our hiring of Rabbi Kaye, the committee quickly got back to work in search of Holy Blossom’s next Assistant Rabbi. We are thrilled to share that a most wonderful match has been made, and this June we will welcome soon-to-be Rabbi, Eliza McCarroll to the Holy Blossom community.
Eliza will be joining us after her upcoming graduation from Hebrew Union College Jewish Institute of Religion where she has spent the past five years dedicated to her Rabbinic studies. Prior to her time at HUC-JIR, Eliza studied Public Communications in her hometown of Sydney, Australia while also studying at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Eliza grew up in Sydney, where she was deeply involved in Reform Jewish life. She was a youth leader in Netzer, her local Reform youth movement, taught Religious School, worked in an administrative role at her synagogue, and was involved in the World Union for Progressive Judaism.
The search committee had the honour of spending time with Eliza both by zoom and in-person when she travelled to Toronto to visit the congregation. Eliza’s warmth, humility, strong teaching skills, and gracious personality made it clear to us that she was a great fit for this important role. As an Aussie, Eliza’s delight in witnessing Toronto post snowstorm, made it clear to us that she was not just a great fit but was indeed the perfect fit!
We believe that Eliza will be an excellent complement to our phenomenal clergy team. She is dedicated, hard-working, insightful and so eager to contribute to our community. We also know that Holy Blossom will be a wonderful place for Eliza to grow and prosper, under the guidance and mentorship of Rabbi Splansky and the rest of the Holy Blossom team. We feel honoured to have matched with Eliza. We believe that she will provide so much to our community and that in turn, our community will be a wonderfully supportive place for her to launch her Rabbinic career.
We are grateful to the extraordinary Rabbinic Search Committee for being part of this process. Their commitment and contributions, completing not one but two searches, was unprecedented. Thank you to Maddie Axelrod, David Malinowicz, Jeffrey Myers, Nancy Lerner, Lisa Taylor, and Rabbi Splansky (ex-officio).
We look forward to finding ways to welcome and connect with Eliza and wish her hatzlacha as she completes her Rabbinic studies. We know that you all join us in welcoming Eliza to the Holy Blossom family.
Karen Kollins and Jeff Denaburg
Chairs, Rabbinic Search Committee
From Rabbi Splansky
Remember the movie line: You had me at “Hello”? Well, soon-to-be Rabbi Eliza McCarroll had me when she asked our Clergy Team: “How are you accountable to one another?” It was such an insightful question. It was a serious question about relationships and professionalism. It got right to the heart of the matter for Holy Blossom’s team of Rabbis and Cantors. It was a bold question, intended to tap into something profound about mission and trust. It was the kind of question that those around the table were grateful to have posed because it made us reflect and articulate something we knew to be true but rarely discussed. It was the kind of question that made us better.
That tells you everything you need to know about our next Assistant Rabbi, Eliza McCarroll. She will make us better. She is smart and kind, a self-starter, who likes to laugh. She walks through her days with a quiet confidence. I can see why Rabbis like Karen Thomashow, who have worked with Eliza in a series of internships, praise her name and take pride in how she will flourish as a Rabbi of Holy Blossom Temple.
Once again, I am grateful for the excellent Rabbinic Search Committee, which went above and beyond the first call of duty. Under the leadership of the committee’s co-chairs, Jeff Denaburg and Karen Kollins, we have made another shidduch for our congregation. With good guidance from the Central Conference of American Rabbis and support from the Pulpit Committee and its chair, Lisa Taylor, we have navigated two successful Rabbinic search processes in a matter of five months.
As we prepare for Shabbat T’tzaveh, when our Torah portion instructs us to bring pure olive oil to keep the Eternal Light lit in the Mishkan and later in Jerusalem’s Temple, let us celebrate all the good and beautiful lights that are lit in our Temple through the dedication of Holy Blossom Rabbis in every generation, eternally.
I invite you to please use the comment section below and join me in welcoming our next Assistant Rabbi, Eliza McCarroll!
Rabbi Yael Splansky
From Rabbi-to-be Eliza McCarroll
Dear Holy Blossom Temple,
Words cannot begin to describe the depth of excitement and humility I feel to be joining your sacred community this coming summer.
I am so looking forward to being in your incredible city, and to meeting you as you are at Holy Blossom, whether that is as a Beit Tefila – a house of uplifting prayer, a Beit Midrash – a house of engaging education, or a Beit Knesset – a house of joyous gathering. I especially look forward to the prospect of working with the phenomenal Holy Blossom team, as we embark on this exciting new chapter and seek to uphold the tradition of excellence you have come to expect. I can’t wait to see you soon in Toronto!
Modah Ani Lefanecha – with profound gratitude,