As we mark what we hope is the concluding chapter of this agonizing pandemic, what better way to celebrate than to bring in the music of Nefesh Mountain, whose very name is a breath of fresh air, and whose music lifts our eyes to vistas of the Shenandoah (even if they actually hale from New Jersey). Their upcoming new album features titles like “In the Wide Open Air,” which is precisely where we need to be right now, and "Wanderlust," which is precisely what we have. Nefesh Mountain will remind us how to find that wide open air.
Katie Kaplan has also been a breath of fresh air. Her musical talents, leadership and spiritual focus have provided us just what we’ve needed in a challenging year, and now, at long last, she is bringing that talent out from behind the Zoom screen and onto our bima. It has been a pleasure to work with her on our clergy team and I look forward to many more years of Cantor Katie Concerts.
At the same time, we are celebrating nearly half a century of service by our most veteran staff member, Alberto Eyzaguirre. What I can’t figure out is how Alberto looks exactly the same as he did when I arrived a mere 34 years ago. I feel privileged to have benefitted from his wisdom, his patience and devotion to our community, and to be his friend.
For many he is the face of TBE, the first person to greet bar mitzvah families entering the building on their big day. He’s sent scores of brides down the aisle of our sanctuary (and prepared all those light bulbs to smash under the huppah). He’s prepared shiva meals and kiddushes by the hundreds. He’s been here nearly every day, rain, snow or shine, never complaining (even when a complaint or two might have been warranted). He’s “bought” more pre Pesach hametz from me than an Amazon warehouse filled with Dunkin's.’ And he’s done it all with dignity and a smile. Alberto is a consummate educator, teaching by example how to be a mensch- putting our best face forward.
Mazal tov to Alberto, Patty and Daniel. We are so grateful for all you’ve done for us all these years.
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