Over the course of the last twenty years, Agudas Achim has been blessed to maintain a close relationship with the institution that ordained me as a rabbi and invested Elisheva Dienstfrey as a Hazzan – the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS). Almost every year we have hosted students and scholars, including the extraordinary two-year Torah Institute in which more than fifty members of our synagogue participated. The Hazzan and I have been blessed with interns over the past five summers who have greatly enhanced the shul and, we hope, been inspired in return. Our members have participated in a variety of week-long study programs with JTS faculty. We publish the Torah pamphlets from the Seminary each week for Shabbat. And while it may not be plainly obvious, the learning and inspiration I get each year at the Rabbinic Training Institute (Rabbi Camp) has been the most consistent enhancement of my ability to teach you.
I graduated from JTS in 1982, which makes me eligible in the spring for the honorary doctorate bestowed on every twenty-five year veteran of the rabbinate. (The Seminary is just a little behind in actually granting the degree.)In honor of that longevity, our Northern Virginia JTS committee has undertaken to fund a one-year scholarship for a rabbinical student as the focus of its annual fundraising. You will receive more details; I am honored and flattered to provide this motivation.
But you needn’t restrict yourself to the opportunities we provide to benefit from and support JTS. There is abundant learning available through the web site, www.jtsa.edu, opportunities to contribute to the good work of the institution and, perhaps most important, undergraduate and graduate programs to which our children can be directed to increase their Jewish learning and prepare to serve as lay or professional leaders in the Jewish and general communities. And I cannot say enough about the vision and leadership of Chancellor Arnold Eisen who has built on the accomplishments of his predecessors and charted a forward course for the flagship institution of our movement.
Please let me know how I can encourage you to be a good friend of JTS.
A REMINDER ABOUT CONTACTING RABBI MOLINE:
Rabbi Moline maintains a dedicated and private phone line in his home so that congregants can reach him or leave a confidential message in an emergency after regular business hours. That number, listed in the directory, is nnn.nnn.nnnn. Since it rings at home, we ask that your call be a genuine emergency, especially later at night. Anything that does not require immediate attention should be directed to the rabbi at the office (703.998.6460). Please do not leave messages on matters concerning rabbinic duties at phone numbers other than these, both out of consideration for family members and to ensure confidentiality for you and your concerns. Thanks!
The Israeli Ambassador to the US will join us on Friday night, January 8, for services.