It was exactly 25 years ago this Shabbat that I celebrated my Bar Mitzvah. The protagonist of the Torah reading, Abram (later Abraham), is sent out on a journey by God to a place and into a future he does not know at the time of departure. So to, as I reflect on my own life and the changes in the world since 1997, have I – and all of us – been on our life journeys not knowing exactly where we will end up.
For me, my journey led to involvement in USY while in high school, developing leadership skills and meeting my life partner Rachel. It led me to Montreal for university and Jerusalem for a year of study and self-exploration. It led me to Toronto and my initial connection to Beth Tzedec through my former roommate Andre Ivory, Beth Tzedec’s Youth Director from 2007 to 2011.
It led me to two years of training and study as a Jewish educator at JTS in New York and to a year of teaching on Long Island, where I first met Sylvie Moscovitz, our current Teen Engagement Coordinator. And for the last 11 years, my journey has weaved its way through this community, through the holy work of educating and leading at Beth Tzedec. I continue to feel so fortunate to have found a personal and professional home in this community and to be able to work on a wide range of projects over the years here.
What has been your journey for the last 25 years? Where were you in 1997, and what has changed since then in your life? Let us reflect and be blessed by our positive changes and find the silver linings in our challenges. And most importantly, like Abraham, let us have faith that the net positives will far outweigh the net negatives as we move forward.