Dear Members of Congregation Shomrei Emunah,
This year has been one of extraordinary challenges. As individuals and families, as a global village, a nation and as a congregation, we have borne losses and pain, disruption and deprivation. Here, at Shomrei, we have also discovered reservoirs of strength, commitment, creativity and determination.
For the past 12 years it has been my sacred privilege to serve as your spiritual leader. And in this past, exceptionally demanding, year I have been exceptionally blessed to share in the work of sustaining our community with our office staff, educators and custodians, along with all our amazing volunteers of the Moving Forward Committee and our Board, all led by our dedicated President, Miriam Haimes, who have all risen to the occasion in inspiring ways.
As we move with hopeful anticipation toward a reopening of our building, our programs, our schedules and our very lungs and hearts, we may discover that this time of challenge has also challenged us to reexamine ourselves, our values, our priorities and our visions for the future. I have undertaken that process of introspection and searching, and I have come to the difficult but important decision that this coming year will be my last as your rabbi. I will be retiring from the congregational rabbinate beginning August 1, 2022. I hope that this move will open up possibilities for me that I have long deferred or put to the side. I am excited to contemplate having much more time to make my art and to write, while I am eager as ever to find opportunities to teach Torah.
I invite everyone to make the effort to examine what lessons each of us may draw from this unique experience that we have undergone. And I believe that Shomrei, as a community, will find blessing in engaging in a process of self-examination and renewal.
I am so grateful for the privilege I have enjoyed in being your rabbi, and I pledge to continue to serve Shomrei with all my dedication through our next 15 months together, a new period of engagement and growth. May we all help each other to go from strength to strength!
Response From President Miriam Haimes
Dear Shomrei Emunah Community,
Following on Rabbi Greenstein’s notice to our community of his desire to retire at the end of his contract next year, I am filled with emotion and, while we will benefit from Rabbi Greenstein’s leadership for another year, I want to express my personal gratitude for the leadership, thoughtfulness, spiritual guidance, scholarship and constant support provided to me personally as well as to our community.
As Rabbi mentioned, this has been a most challenging year and we all have had to explore new ways to remain connected and I thank Rabbi Greenstein for helping all of us navigate as we adjusted to new norms. I am looking forward to our continued partnership over the coming year while celebrating all he has done for Shomrei.
On behalf of the Shomrei Community, I want to acknowledge how grateful we are to have had the inspiration that Rabbi Greenstein has given us over the last 12 years and will continue to share with us in the next 15 months.
While it is early to wish Rabbi Greenstein the best in his retirement, I know that he will finally have some time to pursue his many interests and talents.
On behalf of the Shomrei community, it is because of Rabbi Greenstein that we are well poised for the future.