Thank you for an incredibly warm welcome to Shaarei Tikvah! While I can’t thank everyone who has played a role in offering us such a warm welcome, I want to express our tremendous gratitude for the open arms with which you have greeted our family. We are thrilled to call Shaarei Tikvah our new spiritual home and have enjoyed getting to know our new surroundings and meeting our new neighbors- both in the Scarsdale community and through our synagogue community. My wife, Maital and I are excited to meet all of you at upcoming events as well as introducing you to our three children.
In the months leading up to July 1, I have already been inspired by the talented and energetic lay leadership at Shaarei Tikvah and am convinced that anything is possible with this group of highly motivated and professional volunteers. I have also been moved by the generosity and personal commitment that I have witnessed from congregants who genuinely care for their community and its future.
I entered the rabbinate because I am inspired daily by the impact that Jewish rituals and values can have on individuals and communities. I am a rabbi who loves making connections, guiding seekers along Jewish journeys, and using creative tools to help inspire meaningful experiences. As it exists today, I see Shaarei Tikvah as a place that is a community rich in opportunities to engage in the rabbinic work that motivates me. And I am also aware of the possibilities that lay ahead, now within the realm of our vision to enhance our community in many ways. I am very excited for the path ahead as together we face our world through Jewish lenses while navigating our inner lives through study, prayer, and building relationships.
My first Shabbat at Shaarei Tikvah was Parashat Shelach, in which we explored the story of the spies that enter into the land of Canaan. The Torah describes their journey in a way that is grammatically questionable. “Vaya’alu vaNegev vayavo ad Hevron.” “They went up to the Negev and came to Hebron.” (Numbers 13:22) Strangely, the first verb is in the plural and the second in singular. The Talmud suggests that the scouts were looking for information that pertained to the here and now, connected to their military and economic needs. However, unlike the others, Caleb, alone, visited Hebron to see Ma’arat hamachpeilah, the graves of his ancestors. He was the only one who was able to see the land not only as it was in the moment, but what it had meant to his ancestors and what it would mean for generations of Jews in the future.
This is an exciting moment in our history as we take pride in the history of our congregation, breathe in the present by recognizing the blessings of who we are and what we have accomplished, and foresee the wonderful future that lays ahead. I feel blessed to be part of this community and am eager to immerse myself in its energy, warmth, and vision.