As you may have heard I have been offered and accepted the position of Rabbi at Congregation Albert in Albuquerque, New Mexico. For me it has been a very difficult decision between accepting a wonderful opportunity and the thought of leaving so many of you to whom I feel so close. However, now it is time for me to move on to a new stage in life and so I will end my tenure as your Senior Rabbi this coming June. I have never been one to leave friends behind and hope that we will remain a part of each other’s lives and that we will be able to stay in touch.
My 10 plus years as the rabbi at Temple Beth Zion, as your rabbi, have been and always will be precious to me. We have celebrated together, cried together, held each other up, studied, prayed and played together. When I first came to Buffalo my stated goal was to continue the transformation of Temple Beth Zion into Congregation Beth Zion and ultimately into the Community of Beth Zion. I firmly believe that together we have moved closer to that goal.
TBZ is a community with unlimited potential. A congregation exists because people come together to support and care for each other. In my 10 1/2 years as your rabbi I have seen you do this over and over. Together we have educated our children and helped them develop a solid, positive Jewish identity. Together, during 11 Mitzvah Days we have made our community a better place. Together we have become a congregation that continues learning to sing and pray together. In short, we have worked to fulfill our mission. The work is not yet complete but I have full faith that you will continue this work and come closer to fulfilling the mission.
Over the years, as people have left Western New York and TBZ to live elsewhere, I have always told them that once a member of the TBZ family, always a member. I believed it when I said those words but now that they apply to me, I understand their depth. You, the membership of Temple Beth Zion will always be in my heart and I hope that you will keep some small place in yours for me.
Rabbi Harry Rosenfeld