Rabbi-blogger gives thanks after installation

Elizabeth Hersh is Senior Rabbi at Temple Emanuel (TE), and a blogger on the Jewish Light’s website (stljewishlight.com).   Joel Iskiwitch and John DeMott, authors of the  “What can you do?”  sidebar, are congregants at TE.

By Rabbi Elizabeth Hersh

Almost two weeks ago was my installation as the Senior Rabbi at Temple Emanuel. To say that it was a milestone of my rabbinical career is an understatement. Perhaps you can still see the glimmer in my eyes and the smile on my face. It was one of the most memorable and thrilling moments in my professional life. I have thought about this moment often in the past week.

I was blessed to share the bima with Rabbis Joseph Rosenbloom and Howard Kaplansky, JF&CS Executive Director Lou Albert, our celebrated and gifted soloist Malachi Owens and Temple Emanuel President Steven Strauss. Nicole Robbins was at the piano resounding beauty through music. My beloved husband and son were in the front row, and the congregation was filled with old friends and new congregational family members. My friends, it does not get much better than this!

As I humbly accept this responsibility I am ever grateful to those who helped bring me to this sacred moment in time. We are nothing without our mentors. As we stand in our positions of leadership, we know that if not for gifted teachers and role models, we would not be where we are today. And it goes beyond that. The congregation was filled with hopeful and enthusiastic congregants who believe in my vision and work. They are the congregants who have embraced me with open arms and hearts.

My friends, who are my family not defined by blood, came also to be there for the occasion.  They, too, have traveled the course with me and brought me to this moment.

Thank you. Thank you. And thank you. I am blessed and I know it.