Rabbi Stacy Rigler thanked us in last week’s eKI for the support we have given her during the 17 years she has been on staff at our synagogue. As a Rabbi Educator, she described how much she has enjoyed being a part of our community. Rabbi Rigler created and directed an Educational program at KI that became a model for other synagogue communities around the country. We are grateful to Rabbi Rigler for her visionary thinking as well as her leadership and wish her great success in her new position.
Those of us who no longer have children in elementary or High School don’t get to see what happens at KI on Sunday mornings or Tuesday afternoons and I wanted to share a peek as to what happened at KI this past Tuesday. Our students, their teachers and parents put together a beautiful power point tribute for Rabbi Rigler. She was thanked with photos and memories of our children’s rites of passage, of B’nai Mitzvah, Family Services, Confirmation, class trips, camp and mentorship. The list of descriptive words and phrases could fill an entire page, but here are just a few in the voices of our children: “I have so many amazing memories; you have taught us kindness and the meaning of tikkun olam; you helped shape me into the person I am today; you welcomed me with open arms; your passion for Jewish learning will be missed; the Civil Rights trip was a great experience; thanks for all the Pizza on Tuesdays; thank you for making our whole family feel welcome; you are kind, compassionate, a visionary, enthusiastic and bold, we will miss you!”
I, too, will miss Rabbi Rigler, I want to let you know how happy I was to learn from you, the storyteller. I watched at Family Services when you invited all the children join you on the Bimah and shared Biblical lessons in story form. Our students would come up and sit quietly entranced in your words. At the High Holy Days Family Services last year, somehow, you and Cantor Amy Levy managed to get a canoe on the Bimah and got in it and rowed and bailed and we all pretended to bail with you. The children were excited to see your story come alive and learn about working together as a community. I was expecting Jonah and the whale to show up at any moment.
Rabbi Rigler has left us a legacy and big boat to row…
From all of us at KI, I would like to extend a huge Todah Rabah, Rabbi.