[blankline]Celebration of our Cantorial Soloist Lindi Rivers’ 10th year anniversary
Friday, June 17, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. service with guest flautist MATTAN KLEIN who will join us for the weekend and together we will have a beautiful and meaningful Kabbalat Shabbat service
Saturday morning Shabbat services – it will be a privilege to sing together with Lindi as Mattan Klein enhances our worship service.
A special congregational Kiddush will be held in honour of Lindi with speeches of gratitude and a musical presentation with Holy Blossom Temple Singers.
Come and help us pay tribute to Lindi Rivers for her contribution to congregation. Donations in honour of Lindi’s 10th anniversary at HBT will be dedicated to Youth Awards.
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Time goes by in the blink of an eye. No matter how much we appreciate each day, notice it or not, time marches on. It is relentless. There is a price for the beauty of living and we pay it happily. Life is worth the cost of admission.
Ten years ago I was fortunate enough to have a number of stars align just so, and I was hired at Holy Blossom Temple. As if stepping into Cantor Maissner’s shoes for four months while he was on sabbatical wasn’t gift enough, a permanent position was created and I stayed. So began the privilege of learning and working with one of the pre-eminent Cantors, and some of the best Rabbis in the business.
The journey of a thousand notes began with a brief squeal of happiness. The learning curve felt absolutely vertical. It was the most exciting, nerve-racking, intense, and unbelievable time of my life. Every piece of me was exactly where it needed to be. I had found my place.
Almost from the moment I arrived there was talk of an impending renewal project and the energy was palpable. I knew that this was an incredibly dynamic, alive place and I was so happy to be a part of it. With large flows of water passing under many bridges through the years, the commitment and determination of many was humbling and awe-inspiring. We were going to get there, of that there was no doubt. I believe that we have grown as a congregation, learning like young children as we shift and mature and struggle to get it right. One of the things that has always impressed me about HBT is that there is no pretence of being perfect or believing that we are infallible. Mistakes might be made but everyone is doing their very best, giving of themselves as openly and fully as he or she is able. There is an evolving sense that we are in this together, and we are stronger that way. We have learned to put all our cards out on the table. I am proud and honoured to be a part of this phenomenal congregation.
So much has happened in the life of our congregation. Marriages, births, deaths, divorces, illnesses, changes in leadership, people coming, going and coming back; forging ahead; stopping to appreciate and thank; planning for the future; ups and downs; confusion then clarity, confidence, the courage to make changes, to let go, to try something new, to trust. This is what I have seen and continue to see. We are brave, strong, and flexible; we are no pushover. We are different folks with different strokes, a family, taking care of one another. Aren’t we lucky?
A great deal has happened for me personally in the last ten years. With apologies to Charles Dickens, one might say it has been the best of times and the worst of times. Had it not been for the fulfilment I feel in being a shaliach tzibbur, the extraordinary emotional, physical and practical support that I found in the Holy Blossom community, both from my colleagues and congregants, my friends, I cannot imagine how very much more challenging the past 6 years in particular would have been. First, the five years of my husband, Steve’s ( z”l) illness, and then the first year or so of mourning and grieving. Through it all there has been joy, music, and laughter to mix with the tears. What a gift the Holy Blossom community is, a rare treasure.
I feel very fortunate in life. In fact when I married Steve and we ended up with three very terrific children, I felt like the luckiest person in the world and I am still very grateful. I am thankful every day for the gifts that God has brought into my life and for making me open to receiving them.
The past ten years have prepared me for the next step in my calling. I embark on the studying that will, with God’s help, lead me to earning my official credentials as a Cantor. It is both exciting and daunting and I cannot wait to dig in.
So I thank you, truly, for what you each have given me: the opportunity to do what I love- to sing with all my heart and soul, to be a vessel for the inspiration that comes from that magical combination of sacred text and music. Thank you letting me be a part of your lives and for walking together with hope and joy into the future of our beloved congregation. May we go from strength to strength.
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I’ve been reading the accolades and tribute messages about Lindi Rivers and her contribution to our Holy congregation with great joy. What can I add to the multitude of love and appreciation we all have for Lindi?
I think that as the Hazzan of our congregation I have a somewhat more personal perspective and different angle to describe Lindi first and foremost as a “Mentch”– a good compassionate human being. That she has a beautiful soothing voice we all know. That she acts responsibly and fulfills her tasks we all witness constantly.
Nobody should underestimate that Lindi always presents herself in the most tranquil and relaxed way. Her soothing mannerism is always uplifting and inspiring for us all. She helps us pray. Her High Holydays and Shabbat services whether by herself or when we sing together is always a delight to me and the congregation.
We all stood and witnessed with her the difficult and trying period in her and her children’s lives, and admired her strength and dignity in which she carried herself.
We, her team clergy and staff admire Lindi’s nature wisdom and partnership.
Lindi has been a great help and support to me personally all these years. A cherished colleague and friend. She helped me carry my own Cantorial duties with great ease.
It has been a pleasure and delight to work with Lindi for the last ten years which flew by faster the light years. As she and I both said “IN A BLINK OF AN EYE”
I congratulate you Lindi and thank you for ten beautiful inspiring years. May you continue to grow from strength to strength as you are undertaking on a demanding study for the Cantorate. I wish you and me many more years together in partnership
MAZAL TOV AND MUCH LOVE
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By Joanne Roher.
I have had the pleasure of singing with and learning from Lindi on many occasions over the past 10 years. If any of you have ever chanted Torah or Haftorah, there’s a good chance you have studied with Lindi, as I have. Lindi is a remarkable teacher who instructs with patience, passion and humour. Through her guidance, I learned the High Holiday and Haftorah tropes and have successfully chanted many times on Yom Kippur and various other Torah and Haftorah portions with growing confidence over the years. She has helped me find great joy in chanting.
I also had the great pleasure of going on a musical journey with Lindi, literally. Two summers ago, a group of Holy Blossomites took a trip together to participate in the North American Jewish Choral Festival – 5 days of singing and learning about Jewish music. It was through Lindi’s prodding that I signed up to sing with the most proficient choir conducted by a very demanding choir director, Mati Lazar. She helped me believe that I could keep pace with the other choristers, mostly Cantors, including our own Cantor Beny Maissner, and many cantorial students. What was I thinking? It was tough but in the end it was worth it, proving to be an incredible learning experience.
Lindi, you have become a great friend and mentor. Thank you so much for your contributions to my life and life at Holy Blossom. Our Bimah would not be the same without your lovely, sweet voice. Your hard work and dedication over the past 10 years have been an inspiration to us all!
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What would our annual Sisterhood Retreat be without Lindi Rivers? For years Holy Blossom Temple Sisterhood has had its annual Sisterhood retreat at the spectacular Bayview Wildwood Resort on shores of Sparrow Lake. Filled with song and spirit we have been blessed for many years to have Lindi as our Cantorial Soloist during retreat. What an incredible weekend both spiritually and emotionally.
These retreats are where the women that attend find friendship and discover the bonds of Sisterhood. Having Lindi with us over the many years has been wonderful. Our retreat is always filled with song and prayer but also with laughter and good times.
Lindi has always been a strong leader and a great example of what women can do when faced with a challenge. Her ability to connect with people and make them feel at ease is a strength we cherish. She has always been an incredible support to our Sisterhood and will always be a true friend.
Thank you Lindi for all that you do each and every day and thank you for your continued support of Sisterhood. May we continue to go from strength to strength in the bond of Sisterhood.
May the next ten years be filled with joy and blessings to you.
We will miss you at this year’s retreat as you spend time in Israel continuing to support our Sisterhood at the Kotel with the Women of the Wall and representing our Temple.
With much love and admiration.
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It has been almost three years since our son has become a Bar Mitzvah and I can remember it as if it were yesterday. The practise, rehearsals the stress and through it all when we thought he would just go blank on the Shabbat morning that he was to chant there was the calm voice of Lindi Rivers. Her incredible patience and ability to calm the nerves of a young boy was so special and we will never forget those calming words and her kindness.
Lindi has been at Holy Blossom Temple for ten years doing the same for many girls and boys who have had similar experiences. As parents we appreciate her talent to teach our kids and her sensitivity to understand the pressure of becoming a Bar Mitzvah.
Perhaps her background in social work gives her the edge to understand and allow her to connect. We know that our son felt safe and cared for when Lindi was with him. Without her help and guidance our family experience may not have been as special.
For many other families past and future we would like to say Thank you Lindi for being so special and kind.
May you continue to teach, guide and shape the youth of our Temple.
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By Jill Kamin.
Certainly, Lindi has enhanced our Holy Blossom music with her beautiful voice as she leads us in prayer on Shabbat and on the High Holy Days and through her part in Temple’s musical concerts and performances .
Many of us have had the opportunity to work with her as we prepare Torah and Haftarah portions.
It’s Lindi’s remarkable sense of humour that stands out for me.
It has been my good fortune to be together with her at Sisterhood Retreats and Sisterhood Chanukah parties and sometimes just in the hallways of Temple.
Through many very tough times, always through her caring and compassion, we have found ways to share the joy of laughter. It’s the giddy, from the gut kind of laughter that has helped me through some sad moments. I am grateful, Lindi.
Here’s to the next 10!