Dear Friends:

 

I want to take a moment to introduce myself to you as I begin my tenure here at Temple B'nai Chaim. My name is David Lipper and I am honored to have been chosen by your Search Committee and Board to serve this year as Temple B'nai Chaim's Interim Rabbi.

 

I am a product of the Reform movement.   I was raised in Houston, Texas and grew up in a home filled with Temple activity.  I am a NFTY Alum and have staffed URJ camps in Texas, Wisconsin and Indiana.  I have grown over the past 30 years within the Reform movement serving congregations in Kalamazoo, MI; Dayton, OH; Milwaukee, WI; McAllen, TX; Akron, OH; San Antonio, TX; Houston, TX and Little Rock, AR. After 21 years of rabbinic work in settled congregations, I have chosen this path of Interim Rabbi as a new stage in my rabbinic journey.

 

Many of you may be wondering what an interim rabbi does that might be different than a permanent rabbi.  Here are some of my thoughts.  An interim rabbi allows a congregation time for thoughtful, intentional work, strengthening it for a healthy search process.  My greatest desire is to help you to find the best rabbi to help you continue on the amazing journey that Temple B'nai Chaim has traveled. I will ask tough questions and help you put to voice your vision of your next Rabbinic partner.   Ultimately, the interim process helps to ensure the success of the relationship with the next settled rabbi.

 

Over the course of the next year, we will study and worship together, we will laugh and cry together, we will spend time in meetings and visiting in homes, hospitals and businesses together, we will celebrate the joys of Jewish living and we will honor the memories of our friends and loved ones.  We will dream dreams of the future and we will carry forward the strengths of the past.   We will celebrate the many gifts that Rabbi Cohen shared and seek new opportunities with your next rabbi.  I am here to be your partner in visioning and to help you discover who you really are.

 

As a congregation, you will learn much about yourselves, about moving ahead and about being strong, about maintaining your identity, as well as considering what you might change.  I will help you to answer tough questions in order to help you establish goals for the future.  Most of all, I want you to know that you are not alone in this journey.

For the next year, we are partners.  For many years, Jewish life has been thriving at B'nai Chaim. Generations of children and adults have been educated. Life cycle events have occurred.  Joys have been shared and no doubt tears have been shed.  And through it all, faith and feeling have continued to drive this community.  As your rabbi I hope to continue to foster these powerful and positive feelings and work with you to make your congregation even stronger.

 

Shalom y'all ...

Rabbi Lipper