Pirkei Avot 4:1 teaches: Who is honored? The one who honors others. Tonight, during our Shabbat worship service, we will gather to honor Rabbi Amy Memis-Foler for her many years of dedicated service to TJM and Beth Emet. We are grateful for everything she has taught us, and how she has comforted and uplifted us during our lifecycle events and when we’ve been in need. She has been attentive, kind, and generous with us and given us good counsel. We will express our appreciation to her with a full heart even as we are filled with sadness that she is finishing her tenure at Beth Emet and moving to New Jersey to become the rabbi at Adath Emanu-El in Mt. Laurel. We know that she will continue to touch many lives and inspire those in her new community.
I write this note a week after being on the receiving end of Rabbi Memis-Foler’s kindness and support. She provided comfort and guidance to my family and me as we buried my father, Harvey Coustan
, last Friday. I am grateful to Rabbi Memis-Foler for being there for my family during this difficult time. I’m also filled with tremendous appreciation for how this amazing community has cared for us in our time of mourning. We have felt enveloped in your love during the funeral and shiva, and your notes of condolence and the food you provided for us have comforted and nourished us. Our hearts are simultaneously broken and full.
I look forward to seeing all of you this evening. It will be a bittersweet occasion, but this week was a stark reminder for me that we should never miss an opportunity to express our love and appreciation when we can.