As I reflect upon my first student pulpit visit to Ogden, I am feeling an immense sense of gratitude. Gratitude toward the many of you who came to partner with me in ushering in our first Shabbat together at Congregation Brith Sholem.
Grateful for the chance to celebrate welcoming a new child into the covenant. Joy at the feeling of waking up to the sunrise over the mountains outside my window. I was delighted to take in the sights in Ogden, grateful to be given the chance to explore the farmer’s market and sample local favorite foods. I am thankful to the CBS community for offering such a warm welcome, to those of you who joined me on Shabbat morning for Torah study and to so many of you who are looking toward the future with hopes for conversions and B’nai Mitzvah celebrations. I came to Ogden with a few ideas of strengths I possess and ways I might serve the community, but I knew that in many ways my learning curve is steep. But in the end, I feel held by each and every one of you — those of you I’ve met and those I still look forward to meeting — and I am so grateful for giving me the permission to learn and grow. I would be remiss if I did not dedicate a special moment of gratitude to Judi Amsel, whose leadership I have already learned so much from. As Pirkei Avot teaches, “Who is wise? He who learns from every man, as it is said: ‘From all who taught me have I gained understanding’ (Psalms 119:99).” And so I am feeling an immense sense of gratitude in this moment as I look forward to learning from each and every one of you.