President’s Blog – Hanukkah 2017

Dear Friends,

Happy Hanukkah to all of you and your families!

At this time last week, Rabbi Krichiver and 16 of us gathered in Boston for the 2017 Biennial Conference of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ). It was an extraordinary time of learning, singing, dancing, praying and eating together! We heard from some remarkable speakers: URJ President Rabbi Rick Jacobs, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Rep. Joe Kennedy, III, Gov. Charlie Baker and Rev. William Barber. We even had the opportunity to connect with two cantors who are or will soon be in placement.

And speaking of cantors, our cantor search task force is back at work as we have already received submissions from cantors in placement this year. Nearly everyone who served last year agreed to continue and we are excited that Sarah Freeman, a member of the IHC Choir, has joined in as well.

Just like before, the search task force’s charge is to find the best cantor for IHC. It is hard not to have certain ideas about who that cantor might be: a soprano or a bass voice; a product of a music conservatory or the Reform camping movement; organ, piano or guitar; tall or short; brunette or blond…

The search task force must put aside preconceptions and focus on those attributes that will assure the person we hire has all the musical, liturgical, pastoral and educational skills we need, a pleasing voice, an appreciation for a community as diverse as IHC and a full clergy partner to our rabbis.

To be sure, this is not an easy task. Though we have learned our Jewish community is larger and more robust than we might have believed, it may not compare for some cantors to the Jewish communities of New York, Chicago or Los Angeles. And, of course, we will meet only those cantors who are in placement and are interested in our community.

Despite the randomness of the placement process, we are confident that our search will be successful and that we will all be welcoming our new cantor on July 1 next year.

I wish you light and love for this holiday season … a moment of peace and joy to share with those you love. And, of course, piles of crispy (or soft), thin and lacy (or thick and puffy) latkes with lots of applesauce (or sour cream or ketchup)! Or maybe you prefer jelly doughnuts?

Warmest wishes,

Patti Freeman Dorson