Rabbi Bill S. Tepper, Adjunct Rabbi
During the weeks that led to my assuming the role of Adjunct Rabbi of Holy Blossom Temple, I devoted my time to preparation: attending Kabbalat and Shabbat morning worship, weekday shacharit services, visiting the Sunday morning and Monday evening Religious Schools, participating in virtual gatherings with the Temple’s volunteer-led support groups, and meeting with an array of committee members. I listened to the advice of staff and clergy colleagues. My predecessor, Rabbi Jordan Helfman, went above and beyond in extending generosity and support.
These weeks of research – valuable as they were – hardly compare to the experience of being present at the Temple on a daily basis. The dynamic is now different. There are weekly and monthly meetings with colleagues and staff, worship services to plan and lead, an active role to play in the Religious School, outreach and guidance to B’nai Mitzvot families and Conversion to Judaism candidates, ongoing connection with congregants, lifecycle events to anticipate, as well as sermons and articles to write and present / submit accordingly. Nor must I overlook learning our Temple’s protocols as they pertain to COVID, and the adjustments that accompany communicating via masks and virtual platforms with enabled closed-captioning. As a hearing -impaired person, such learning is for all us at Holy Blossom a work in progress. Fortunately, everyone here is a blessed optimist!
And have I mentioned the period of accommodation that comes with using a new computer system, email address and their accompanying passwords? Oy.
The learning curve is – as I write these words – ongoing. I will stumble… yet endeavour to rise up and continue to learn. Throughout my FIRST ten days at Holy Blossom much good has unfolded. With diligence, a consistently positive outlook, and the partnership of a gifted Temple team, further reward will surely arrive in the days ahead.
I look forward to celebrating congregational life and our Judaism with all of you.
And: my door is always open!