Excitement and Sadness

We Jews are people who wander - from the ancient wilderness of Sinai, to the Diaspora today, from seeking for answers that help us make progress on our intellectual questions, to searching the depths of our souls for spiritual connections.

Five years ago, Ginny’s and my family were thrilled to roam our way to Charlotte and begin our journey at Temple Beth El. In these short years we have been blessed to connect profoundly with so many of in Charlotte and in the TBE community of families. We are honored to be family here, and all of you are now part of our family and always will be.

As a people who roam, we are accustomed to keeping the relatives we create, no matter where we end up, and all of us are sad to depart and looking forward to still staying in touch with everyone.

At the end of June, Ginny, Jude, Sadie, and I will be making our way to Buffalo, New York, where I have accepted the position of Rabbi at Temple Beth Zion. Both Buffalo and TBZ are exciting destinations for us.

Temple Beth Zion is a large and historic congregation with more than 165 years of history, and has been a Reform congregation since 1863. I will join a team consisting of Rabbi Adam Scheldt and Cantor Penny Myers. The three of us and the other leaders of TBZ will work on a new non-hierarchical framework, where three equal clergy and empowered professionals and lay leaders will explore a team approach to spiritual leadership and organizational governance.

Buffalo is experiencing its first real revitalization in decades, both in terms of population growth and a commitment by the State of New York to spend more than a billion dollars to make the city thrive again. Temple Beth Zion is poised to bridge the gap between the vibrant suburbs and the renewed downtown with buildings in both locations.

Our Reel-Freirich Family of four of us are so sad to move so far away from our TBE family, and so excited for the new horizons we are beginning to explore with the family we look forward to connecting to at TBZ and in Buffalo.

My last Shabbat as Associate Rabbi at Temple Beth El will be on June 17 and 18. These few months will be filled with great opportunities for all of us to celebrate and learn together at TBE and throughout Charlotte. They will be the icing on the cake of our wonderful time here in Charlotte, and the springboard for our connections over longer distances to come.

And so begins the long farewell to Charlotte, and the beginnings of our lives to come in Buffalo.

Photo by JillLang/iStock / Getty Images

Photo by JillLang/iStock / Getty Images

Photo by zrfphoto/iStock / Getty Images

Photo by zrfphoto/iStock / Getty Images