הלל אומר, הוי כתלמידיו של אהרון-אוהב שלום ורודף שלום, אוהב את הבריות ומקרבן לתורה
Hillel would say: be among the disciples of Aaron – loving peace and pursuing peace, loving people and bringing them close to Torah.
My ordination class chose that verse as one of our themes for the coming weekend. (Our other big theme is a verse from this week's Torah portion, Exodus 10:26: וַאֲנַחְנּו לֹא-נֵדַע מַה-נַּעֲבֹד אֶת-יְי עַד-בֹּאֵנּו שָׁמָּה, And we shall not know with what we are to serve God until we get there.)
The ten of us who will be ordained on Sunday (seven rabbis, one cantor, and two rabbinic pastors) are a diverse and wonderful bunch. Some of us are spiritual leaders of communities, some lead organizations, some are chaplains. We teach, officiate at lifecycle events, and lead prayer services. We come from all walks of life, from Israel and across the United States, and we're looking forward to discovering where and how we are led to serve in the years to come. What binds us together is the hope that each of us will be a blessing to the Jewish community and the greater world.
In honor of our ordination, my classmates and I are making a collective gift to ALEPH and its seminary. This gift will enable ALEPH to continue to support all who seek to engage with Jewish Renewal’s creative, passionate, mystical and progressive approach to Judaism and will contribute to the education of future rabbis, cantors, and rabbinic pastors. Back in July I posted an invitation to support ALEPH. As my ordination approaches, I'm echoing that call again.
I invite you to honor this milestone in my colleagues' and my life by contributing a (tax-deductible) gift to ALEPH on behalf of our class. If you want to become a "chai" donor, giving $18 each month (the numerical value of the word chai, "life," is 18), you can do so here. You're also welcome to become a member online with a one-time donation. Alternatively, here's a simple donation form which you can download, print, and mail in: OrdinationGiftForm [pdf]
If you prefer to arrange a donation over the phone, you can contact Ming, ALEPH's administrator, by calling 215-247-9700 ext 21 (Mondays through Fridays from 1-5pm EST). One way or another, please indicate in the notes to your donation or in the notes field of your check that you're making the donation in my honor, so that Ming will know to connect your donation with the fundraising our class has been doing.
Thank you all so much for your support as I have worked toward becoming a rabbi, and thanks for helping me support the seminary which has enabled me to make this dream a reality!