With Gratitude & Love

by Rabbi Jodie Siff

Dear Friends,

I have deep gratitude and heartfelt appreciation for each and every member of our wonderful synagogue community. The Gala weekend commemorating my cherished 25 years of partnership with the RSNS community was an extraordinary event that will forever be etched in our memories. There was immense joy, warmth, and love that filled the air at the Rabbi’s Run, Shvitzy Shabbat, and the Gala Saturday evening (my personal Bat-Mitzvah). It was a true testament to the strength and unity of our community, and a reflection of the profound impact this partnership has had on the lives of our collective children, adults, and the communities we intersect with. The weekend not only celebrated the accomplishments and dedication of our commitment to building a place where Judaism is at the core of a meaningful life, but it also highlighted that this happens only when you are in deep relationships with wonderful people.

From the moment I arrived Friday and saw the outdoor games and then Saturday the magnificent decorations that were adorning the synagogue, I was overwhelmed by the care and attention to detail that was poured into every aspect of the Gala weekend. The entire event was an exquisite testament to the unity and devotion of our congregation. The boundless enthusiasm displayed by the Gala and Fundraising Committees, the bakers, the cake maker and organizers of the Oneg, the GG Olga famous desserts, the sponsors, the contributors, the many volunteers, the office and building staff, educators, and clergy were nothing short of remarkable. The commitment and passion you demonstrated truly exemplify the spirit of our synagogue community. From the posters made by our kids displayed at the oneg, the T-shirts with the catchy logo, and the elegant decorations to the delectable cuisine, every aspect of the weekend reflected the reverence and respect we hold for our commitment to the Jewish community and our relationship with each other. These evenings were filled with laughter, tears of joy, and heartfelt speeches (some even written almost 40 years ago) that painted a vivid picture of the unwavering commitment I have for our RSNS community.

To the organizing committee, volunteers, and each individual who played a part in making this Gala weekend a resounding success, please accept my deepest appreciation. Your selfless contributions, countless hours of hard work, and dedication have left an indelible mark on my heart and soul. To all those who generously contributed to the Gala weekend, whether through financial support, donations, journal entries, or personal involvement, please accept my sincerest thanks. Your generosity is a testament to the values we hold dear as a community—cherishing tradition, fostering unity, and embracing the importance of community and mutual support. These actions are what provide a strong foundation for the future of our synagogue. This was a celebration in honor of my service, AND I hope it will forever serve as a cherished memory in the tapestry of our synagogue’s history.

During the gala, as I stood before the podium and looked out into the sea of familiar faces, I was overcome with emotion. The love, respect, and warmth I felt from each and every one of you reaffirmed the deep bond we have nurtured over the past 25 years. I am grateful beyond words for the privilege of serving as your rabbi and for the trust you have placed in me to guide and support you on your spiritual journeys.

Lastly, I want to express my deep gratitude to each member of our synagogue community. You are the heart and soul of our congregation, and it is your commitment, faith, and dedication that make our community a vibrant and thriving place to build a lasting Jewish community. Your passion for learning, your acts of kindness, and your boundless support have enriched my life immeasurably.

As we look to the future with hope and anticipation, I am grateful to embark on the next chapter of our journey together. May our synagogue continue to be a beacon of light, radiating love, compassion, and wisdom to all who seek solace and spiritual nourishment in the Jewish community.

With gratitude and love,

Rabbi Jodie