By Rabbi Shira Wallach
A lot of folks have asked me over the last two weeks how it’s been to return to work from maternity leave. First of all—it says a lot about the warmth and love of the Shearith community that so many of you have reached out to check on me and I am deeply grateful. And second—as you can imagine, it is bittersweet. But there are two fundamental thoughts that keep me going: I know that my daughters are well taken care of in a safe and nurturing environment and I love my job.
This past weekend was such an auspicious time to be present at Shearith. The end of summer often feels like a joyous reunion of dear friends as we all return from vacations and begin the school year together. And this year was no different: the Back-to-Shul Shabbat gave us the opportunity to look at our new collection of photos in our lobby, to reflect and recall the sacred moments we shared over the year 5779. Then, we ushered in Shabbat with our best boot forward in the Western Kabbalat Shabbat in Beck or the Western Shababa in Fonberg. To look around, to see old friends and new faces, beaming with the radiance of joy and connection, was truly special. This special feeling continued Shabbat morning as we shared a beautiful service together in Beck.
On Sunday morning, our blossoming Weitzman Family Religious School held its first day of learning. Parents, students, and teachers came together to study the mitzvah of welcoming and creating sacred community. At the same time, we hosted a seminar for Shearith leaders and staff to help us move from vision to action as we regard the inspiring and aspirational results of our Strategic Plan. The bustling energy in the building reminded me why I felt called to do this work in the first place, and why I keep coming into the office each and every day. I simply can’t wait to see the Ma’alot—the heights—to which we rise in 5780.
See you in shul,
Shearith Israel clergy, staff and congregants share