Rabbinic Reflection: Rabbi Bill S. Tepper
Founts of Inspiration
Serving as a rabbi at Holy Blossom implies partnering with a range of Temple constituencies, each in a different way: the Youth Education Center, Interfaith Committee, and the Women of Reform Judaism, among others. At this moment, I am with pride able to look both back and ahead on the unfolding of projects that have brought and will continue to bring further esteem to our remarkable congregation. Each venture is – in its own special way – a fount of inspiration, for me and all who are invested in them.
As a member of our Temple clergy, my portfolio includes being present for shacharit on Monday mornings in our Herman Chapel. Over the course of forty-five minutes, I participate in worship, teach Torah and – most importantly of all – connect with the many congregants who attend this service virtually or in person. What a wonderful way to begin the day.
Within the Youth Education Center, I am a resource person for all grades, guide to the Confirmation class, and co-leader of our Sunday morning t’filah experience. How rewarding and uplifting are the sights and sounds of youth learning together in our beautiful Temple building!
Last month, the Interfaith Committee organized an excellent online Passover seder, within which sixty persons – besides myself, and representing an array of our community’s faith groups – participated. As well, both Interfaith Committee representatives and Youth Education Center students were guests of the Imdadul Islamic Center – a valued friend of Holy Blossom – at the conclusion of Ramadan for a dynamic evening of learning, socializing, and feasting.
On June 2 the Women of Holy Blossom will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of our Temple Sisterhood, an event that transpired under the wise and determined guidance of Rebecca Brickner, spouse of our congregation’s first Reform spiritual leader Rabbi Barnet Brickner. In addition to an array of speakers and visual presentations, the program will include – with my guidance – a dramatic re-creation of the first Sisterhood gathering in October of 1921 at the Temple on Bond Street. Actors, musicians, tech persons, and Women of Holy Blossom leaders have all begun this exciting work!
Founts of inspiration: they sustain and enrich our Temple life. How fortunate I am for the opportunity to contribute to their achievements. And how blessed are we all for the abundance of skills, gifts, and devotion that our members bring to Holy Blossom in their entirety. Our cup runs over! As the words of our sages remind us: Hazak, Hazak V’Nithazek. Strong, strong…and let us continue to be strong.
Rabbi Tepper, you certainly have made a difference in Temple life. Watching you on Rosh Chodesh stepping up to the plate when lay leader did not show up was a demonstration to me of your resilience, strength and versatility. For a Monday there were many unexpected situations and you handled them with grace and rose up to the occasion. Your huge effort did not go unnoticed. You are definitely an asset to our congregation. Thank you!
Rabbi Tepper—beautifully said –I Iook forward to the June 2 offering of the Temple women
on the First Sisterhood gathering of October 1921..at the Temple on Bond St.
The plan sounds wonderful.