December 13, 2017
Dear CBE Community,
We write to share bittersweet news about our beloved Associate Rabbi, Marc Katz. Beginning in July 2018, Rabbi Katz will be the Rabbi of Temple Ner Tamid in Bloomfield, NJ. We have included his beautiful letter to the congregation with this email.
Like everything Rabbi Katz does, he has been a complete mensch throughout this impending transition. We have long known that Rabbi Katz intended to pursue a senior rabbi position for the next step in his rabbinic career. As he entered this final year of his contract, he confirmed this desire, giving us ample time to plan for, and grudgingly imagine, a future at CBE without him.
We will share exciting news about the development of CBE's rabbinic team in the near future. Today, however, we are focusing our attention solely on this next step for Rabbi Katz, both the loss it represents for our community and the great promise it holds for Temple Ner Tamid and the Jewish people.
Rabbi Katz is an incomparable rabbi whose performance as CBE's Associate Rabbi presages greatness for him as he moves on to lead his own congregation. We have no doubt that he will soon take his place as an important voice and vital leader in the Reform movement and for the Jewish people. Rabbi Katz's extraordinary impact on CBE has been felt in each of the three pillars - God, Torah, and Israel - of our tradition.
First, if you are one of the hundreds of people who have studied with Rabbi Katz over his tenure, you know that his command of our sacred texts is exceptional. He has coaxed the recalcitrant student; inspired the new convert; educated the adult learner; and pushed even our most studied congregants to new heights of knowledge. From the bimah, he has given deep, erudite, and moving sermons, insightful and apt divrei Torah, and no one does a better Torah surprise at our Shabbat morning services!
Second, Rabbi Katz has led thousands of us in prayer and shown us the joy of worship. From Main Services in our Sanctuary to Brooklyn Jews in Prospect Park; from Youth and Family Services in the Ballroom to Gan Shabbat in the Rotunda; from Shir L'Shabbat in the Social Hall to our warm Friday Night services in the Chapel; there is literally not a space in our buildings, nor a segment of our congregation that has not been blessed with Rabbi Katz's rabbinic presence.
Third, over the last ten years, he has given of himself in extraordinary ways for the CBE community. He has been there to marry us; to welcome our new babies; to teach our children and guide them as they became
b'nei mitzvah. He often is the first to respond when we are sick and when our loved ones are dying, and he has comforted us at the graveside and at our homes during
shiva. He has been a true partner to our clergy team and staff. Marc and his wife Ayelet are simply beloved by this community, and we know how difficult it will be for us to say goodbye.
Our time with Rabbi Katz is not over. We have six more months to learn from him, pray with him, and be led by him. We urge all of our members to find the time to be with him in whatever venue and whatever way is most meaningful. We will formally say farewell as a community on the morning of Sunday, June 3rd. Please mark your calendars now.
At its best, the relationship between an associate rabbi and a congregation looks like this. We grow together over time, each enriching the other's lives, until the associate rabbi is ready to step out on his or her own. Over the next six months, let's savor our time with Rabbi Katz, and prepare ourselves to send him and Ayelet off with our deepest gratitude and our heartfelt blessing.
|Rabbi Rachel Timoner
| Jonathan Fried, President