With the conclusion of Rabbi David’s joyful installation this past Shabbat, it gives us an opportunity to look back on the initial four months of his KI rabbinate, and the opportunities that were offered to our members during this important transition.
Many members met Rabbi David in both small and large group settings, at special programs, during JQuest gatherings, at Shabbat worship services, through the High Holy Days and the festivals of Sukkot and Simchat Torah, and even perhaps in conversations with Rabbi David in the hallways of KI or in his office. It was apparent that so many members purposely made those connections, and in learning more about Rabbi David, he, in turn, learned more about our complex, vibrant community and our diverse membership.
Small Group Gatherings: Attended by more than 200 KI members, the transition small group gatherings began in the summer months and well into the fall. Rabbi David attended these meetings in homes in KI’s surrounding neighborhoods, on the Main Line, in Center City, down the Jersey shore, in local multi-family buildings, and also at KI and virtually by Zoom. It was apparent that they were all gatherings that both the Rabbi and attendees enjoyed and found meaningful. Special thanks to the following members who each added to the success of these gatherings:
Marci and Richard Abt
Allison and Evan Barenbaum
Jody and Drew Brookman
Jennifer and Andy Eimer
Evonne and Isaak Kruger
Caryl and Michael Levin
Anita and Murray Madnick
Norma and Arnold Meshkov
Sarah and Rick Morrison
Linda and Jonathan Roth
Fran and Sid Schwartz
Karen and Robert Sirota
Liz Kaufman Taylor and Andrew Taylor
Bobbi and Dick Weiss
Susan and Robert Zaslow
Small Group Discussion Leaders
Janice Schwartz Donahue
Liz Kaufman Taylor
Large Group Gatherings: Several large group gatherings also drew many members. A July 8th first Shabbat welcome, and the Shabbat services subsequent to it, were robustly attended. Rabbi David led meaningful, casual summer services that were opportunities for him and the attendees to engage in get-to-know-you conversations. Also in July, there was a meeting of Committee Chairs so that Rabbi David could get a sense of KI’s diverse programming and for the group to begin considering together a vision for the upcoming year.
In the fall, we reprised Shofar on the Roof that was also a welcome for Rabbi David, his wife Lisa and their three children. The program began at the conclusion JQuest so the group was intergenerational with an afternoon of lunch, games, conversations, a bounce house and lots of interactions, all concluding with KI’s Baal Tekiah Jeffrey Miller sounding the shofar on KI’s roof.
Selichot services and Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services were familiar and uplifting with inspiring sermons by Rabbi David, magnificent music led by Cantor Amy Levy and with Hazzan David Tilman and our always outstanding KI Choir, cello and shofar service.
The formal transition programs are now complete but opportunities still await all our members. We encourage our members to continue to make connections to Rabbi David. Make time to join us for Shabbat, volunteer for a social action project, attend Rabbi David’s monthly Talmud class, be part of our active Saturday morning Torah Study group, investigate the many ways to get involved with our committees and programs. All KI programs and groups are detailed in the Bulletin, on the KI website and in our weekly eKI. You will surely see the deep connections among our KI family, and will also experience the ancient words of Pirkei Avot that describe Rabbi David’s successful transition: “Find yourself a rabbi; acquire for yourself a friend”.
Members are encouraged to come to KI, bring a friend, see it all in action and become a part of it all.