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
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
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.