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Points of View
Letter From Rabbi Moline
My Point of View, October, 2013
© Rabbi Jack Moline

Dear Congregants,

I am writing to let you know that this 27th year of my tenure as Rabbi of Agudas Achim Congregation will be my last. My contract comes up for cyclical renewal this year, and I have asked the Board of Directors to accelerate my designation as Rabbi Emeritus otherwise scheduled for 2020. It is my hope to be of service to our new Rabbi and, if the Rabbi so requests, to the Congregation.

Some years ago, our High Holy Days reflections booklet contained advice that American composer Aaron Copland once received. "It is very important, as you get older, to engage in activity that you didn't engage in when you were young, so that you are not continually in competition with yourself as a young man." Over the past few years I have sensed a shift in the vision and priorities of the congregation. Rightly, aspirations for our community reflect the shifts in the American Jewish community in general. While I have no doubt that together we could do a credible job of re-envisioning Agudas Achim, I believe that a leader with energy and longevity that exceed mine is better able to take our congregation into its next century.

I also believe that I have other contributions to make to the Jewish community. I am fortunate that a new opportunity has presented itself just at this moment. I have been invited to become the new Executive Director of the National Jewish Democratic Council. A public announcement of that appointment will be made very shortly; I will begin a transition during the months ahead that will coincide with the reduction and then conclusion of my full-time responsibilities at Agudas Achim.

My heart and my home remain with my congregation. You can expect to see me regularly at services and synagogue functions, and of course I will continue to keep the confidences you have entrusted to me and maintain the concerns that reflect my affection for every member of the synagogue.

My dear friend Joel Goldhammer did not expect to be forming a search committee when he assumed the presidency of Agudas Achim. Our staff, a remarkable team of equals who have worked together seamlessly, looked forward with me to more years of success. I am committed to them, both in assisting with the transition when I am needed and in staying out of the way when I should.

I expect that there will be a range of responses from among the members to this news. I hope that the one response that is universal, whatever others there might be, is a rededication to Agudas Achim Congregation, its legacy and its extraordinary community. I have been privileged to serve you, and I look forward to being among you.

Rabbi Jack Moline.

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