Last Shabbat was very special for our congregation, as we held a capstone event to our 170th anniversary, hosting Cantor Ellen Dreskin. Her spiritual, musical, and educational presence has given us tremendous food for thought as we continue to move towards a vibrant future.
It was also a meaningful moment for me, as I marked the 20th anniversary of my ordination. I was deeply humbled and touched by the presentation made by Temple President Steven Chaba, thanking me and announcing the creation of a new award in my name. First, this was a total and complete surprise…and it is very hard to surprise me! Second and most importantly, the notion that we will be able to reward and incentivize those who are coming to tsedek work is extraordinarily special. Steve and I will put our heads together to develop the details of this Rabbi Peter W. Stein Tsedek Award, but know how much I look forward to the opportunity to deepen our collective commitment to creating justice in our world. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart!
This Shabbat, we will celebrate our third graders. These are the students who are in their first year of Hebrew school, and we have a long tradition of presenting them with their very own copy of the prayer book at the end of this year transformational year of hard work. These students now have the primary tool, the letters of the Alef Bet, to learn Torah and prayers, and to become active participants in the worship life of the congregation. Please join me in the Shabbat service on Friday night to rejoice in the achievements of this very special class.