Announcing Rabbi Samuel Kaye
We are delighted, on behalf of the Rabbinic Search Committee, to share the exciting news that we have made a remarkable match for Holy Blossom’s next Associate Rabbi and are thrilled to introduce you to Rabbi Samuel Kaye. Rabbi Kaye and his family are excited to be joining the Holy Blossom community, beginning this coming July.
Rabbi Kaye is joining us from The Temple in Atlanta, GA where he has been part of the clergy team since his ordination from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in 2018. During his time in Atlanta, Rabbi Kaye’s work was multifaceted, focusing most deeply on a myriad of social justice initiatives, dynamic teaching, and deep engagement with his congregational community from its very youngest to the very wisest members. What stands out most about Rabbi Kaye is his keen intellect, his ability to foster deep and meaningful relationships, his skills in making Judaism accessible, and his eagerness to value the traditions that make Holy Blossom so unique while also exhibiting an excitement about bringing new creative ideas to our community.
Rabbi Kaye is no stranger to Holy Blossom. Prior to his ordination, Rabbi Kaye spent a summer with us as a Rabbinic Intern. During that time, he led worship services, engaged learners in deep study, and gained an understanding and appreciation for the uniqueness of our Temple community and that of Reform Jewry in Canada. Those of you who had the opportunity to engage with Rabbi Kaye will recollect the many contributions he made to Temple life in just a short period of time.
Rabbi Kaye will be joined by his beautiful family – his wife, Taylor Baruchel, is finishing her own Rabbinic studies and will be ordained at HUC-JIR next year, and their 18-month-old daughter, Selah, who is excited to meet new Holy Blossom playmates! Taylor was born and raised in Montreal. Most of Taylor’s closest family now resides in Toronto, so Rabbi Kaye, Taylor and Selah are not just joining our community, but are also ‘coming home’ to their own family.
We have no doubt that both Rabbi Kaye and Taylor will make an incredible impact at Holy Blossom. Their many talents, interests, and most especially their warmth will be far-reaching.
We wish to thank our extraordinary Rabbinic Search Committee for their partnership in this process. Each member of the committee brought their own unique skills to our work, always keeping in mind the needs of our greater Temple community. Thank you to Maddie Axelrod, David Malinowicz, Jeffrey Myers, Nancy Lerner, Lisa Taylor, and Rabbi Splansky (ex-officio).
There will be many opportunities over the next few months to connect with and get to know Rabbi Kaye. Watch out for more details! Until then, please join us in welcoming Rabbi Kaye, Taylor, and Selah to the Holy Blossom family.
Karen Kollins and Jeff Denaburg
Chairs, Rabbinic Search Committee
From Rabbi Splansky
A few years ago, I got a call from Hebrew Union College informing me that there was an applicant for our summer rabbinic internship. “But we don’t have a summer rabbinic internship,” I said. “I know,” said the professor on the other end of the line, “but you have an applicant.”
That tells you everything you need to know about Rabbi Samuel Kaye. Even as a rabbinical student he had ambition, foresight, boundless curiosity, and a desire to grow. Those qualities have now been matched with four years of experience in one of the leading congregations of the Reform Movement and the mentorship of my friend and classmate, Rabbi Peter Berg. You will soon see for yourself the winning combination of Rabbi Kaye’s confidence and humility, seriousness, and good humour.
I am grateful for the excellent Rabbinic Search Committee, which brought a range of Holy Blossom experiences as well as professional experiences to the deliberations. The committee’s tremendous co-chairs, Jeff Denaburg and Karen Kollins met with me each week since Simchat Torah. With good guidance from the Central Conference of American Rabbis and support from the Pulpit Committee, they navigated this search process with good planning and good insight up until this moment of success and celebration.
As we prepare for Shabbat Shirah, when we chant the Song of the Sea, we sing another joyful song in anticipation of the good things to come, just on the horizon. I invite you to please use the comment section below to join me in sending warm greetings to Rabbi Kaye and his family.
From Rabbi Sam Kaye
Good people of Holy Blossom Temple,
I cannot express how overjoyed, honoured, and excited I am to be welcomed, once again, into this amazing community. My wife Taylor, our daughter Selah, and I are eagerly looking forward to making the journey north this summer to begin our lives in Toronto. We can’t wait to join you for beautiful tefilla, exciting and engaging learning, and transformative acts of tikkun olam. Of course, what we are looking forward to the most is the small and simple blessing of being face to face, soul to soul. Whether that be in our stunning synagogue, strolling through the beautiful green spaces of Toronto, or over a good cup of coffee; we can’t wait to meet you!
In so many ways this feels like coming home, and that is a nearly impossible thing to capture with words alone. Fortunately, our Jewish tradition is filled with guidance on how to express our feelings and hopes, even when language seems insufficient. Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech ha-olam ha’tov v’hameitiv! Blessed are you Adonai our God, who is good and who does good for us!
With a heart full of gratitude and excitement, I will see you soon!