by Rabbi Audrey Pollack, November 30, 2022

Dear Solelniks,

This year marks my eighth year at Solel! Typically, clergy are granted a sabbatical period after seven years of service to the community. In planning with our leadership, over the next few years I will be taking my sabbatical in several segments. This January and February I will be away from Solel on the first two months of my sabbatical.

The word “sabbatical” comes from the Hebrew word “Shabbat”, a time of rest and renewal, and is rooted in the instructions that God gave to Moses at Mt. Sinai. In the Torah, every seventh year is a sabbatical year where the land lies fallow. Sabbaticals are typically taken by rabbis in or after their seventh year of work for a congregation. Congregations that grant a sabbatical to their rabbis recognize the importance of providing an opportunity for their rabbi to periodically take some time to revitalize herself, and to return renewed and refreshed, both spiritually and professionally. I am grateful to be serving a community that recognizes the need for renewal.

I’ve been working with our leadership to ensure that I have the time I need to rejuvenate while keeping our community well cared for and advancing our programs and plans.

During the time that I am away, Shabbat services will be led by our wonderful lay leaders and by several guest clergy who will lead our community in prayer and song and learning. I hope that you will take advantage of the opportunity to join together to experience, learn, and be inspired by these gifted leaders. Please be sure to mark your calendars and plan to partake!

Rabbi Englander will be offering an adult study course beginning in January on Sunday mornings on Zoom. And our Chai school classes will continue on Tuesday evenings, led by Arliene Botnick. Our upcoming bnei mitzvah students will continue their preparations with our great team of tutors. We have also made arrangements for pastoral and emergency needs. In case of a death or serious illness, please call the Solel office and we will have a rabbi get in touch with you. If you have further questions about the sabbatical time, please contact John Lewsen, our Solel president.

I am deeply grateful to Solel’s leadership who have worked on the planning for while I am away, especially to those who have volunteered to provide coverage for Shabbat services. Thank you so much for making this possible! I am very much looking forward to taking some time to rest and reorient, to learn, read and write, and spend time with family and friends. I am excited to have this time for deep reflection and study, and I look forward to returning to Solel with a refreshed spirit, with new ideas and a new perspective. I look forward to celebrating Hanukkah with all of you on December 18th and will be back to celebrate Purim with you in March!


Rabbi Audrey S. Pollack

Filed under: Rabbi's Message

« Read more articles