Dear TEE Community,

Early leaders of the Reform movement chose Shavuot as the time for Confirmation, a ceremony in which young members of the community would affirm their commitment to the covenant first made at Sinai. They based their decision on the tradition that the festival is a time when we all “stand again at Sinai” and renew the covenant.

Looking around our gathering last Sunday, I was struck by the aptness of choosing that day for us to gather in person for the first time in over a year. It was a moving and memorable moment. I watched old friends hug, new friends introduced, and – a unique experience – “Zoom friends” recognize one another, although they had never actually been in each other’s presence before. Perhaps it wasn’t as dramatic as that first desert encounter, but it was equally a sacred moment of connection and community.

Many members were involved in making the program possible and I would like to thank them by name. Each one offered help without hesitation and putting this together with them was a delightful experience.

A sincere thank you to Linda Bloch, Judy Greenstein, Xander Karsten, Ian Layton, Denise Lippa, Brenda Mudd, Jon Rubin, Barbara Silverstein, Charlene Sommers, Ina Suher, Gail Vail, and Carl Wetzstein.

A special thanks to our teenage assistants, Mika Slotnick and Veronica Girard, who got up on a Sunday morning to be with us.

And last, but no means least, our musical experience was wonderfully enhanced by the generous presence of Rabbi Sandra Katz and David Schwartz, who, I am thrilled to say, will be joining us to make music again in the future.

The outstanding response to Sunday’s gathering makes it clear that, despite our physical distance during the pandemic, our connections have stayed strong. The season of Shavuot marks that moment when spring moves into summer, trees and flowers begin to blossom, and we can delight in a sense of the earth renewed. Coming together again as a community we are also experiencing a wonderful season of renewal. I look forward to sharing more of it with you.

kol tuv, with good wishes,

Rabbi Drorah Setel