Summer is now upon us and treacherous weather is now a thing of the past, at least for a few months. In my book, the change of season means no more hot chocolate….now it’s fat free/sugar free frozen yogurt.
The past couple of months have been exciting and memorable for me…To begin with, our HHJC Simcha 2014 was a beautiful and successful evening filled with love of community. We had a wonderful turnout, paying tribute to our exceptional honorees; DR. DANA JOHNSTON (Past President), ROBYN ROSENBERG and MARK & CORIE SOLASZ. Yasher Koach again to all our honorees and may Hashem bless you with good health and the ability to continue your roles as community leaders and representatives of what the Jewish people stand for; Mitzvot, Community & Tradition.
Another special event that recently took place was the Commencement of the newly ordained Rabbis and Cantors at The Academy for Jewish Religion. I am very proud to be affiliated with this unique institution. Their training of Rabbis and Cantors is on a level that is different than any other school. They believe that students must be trained in all aspects and branches of Judaism, to prepare them and to enable them to be leaders (Rabbis and Cantors) of congregations of all denominations. The graduation ceremony was extremely moving. Spirituality, Unity, Warmth, Love of Yiddishkeit and Love of Humanity blanketed the hall. AJR instills in its students the importance of Mitzvot and compassion as well as mutual respect. Each speech given at the ceremony was one of love, appreciation and humility. I was especially pleased to see my partner & esteemed colleague, Rabbi David Wise, at this event. It was a unique experience.
Now let me tell you about another exciting moment that I just recently experienced. I was just in Israel to perform at a major Cantorial Concert at the Mann Auditorium (Heichal Hatarbut) in Tel Aviv. I was accompanied by the incomparable, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by world renowned Dr. Mordechai Sobol. One of the Liturgical pieces I performed was Misratze B’rachamim of which I composed the music. This concert was part of a Cantorial Concert series sponsored by the Yuval Foundation. They hold 4-5 concerts each year. I have been performing in these concerts every year for the past 20 years or so. It is a tremendous auditorium. Thousands attend the concerts. The audience is comprised of people from all backgrounds; from Ultra-Orthodox Chassidim to Modern Orthodox, to Conservative/Masorti to completely Secular. There is a mixture of Ashkenazi and Sephardic. Young and old alike. Men, women and children. Cantorial Music (Chazzanut) is loved by nearly all in Israel. It is part of the Jewish culture thus is part of Israeli culture. A special highlight for me at this concert was knowing that my dear friend and esteemed colleague, Rabbi Joseph Simckes, was sitting in the audience together with his wife Chana and their m’chuten (and member of our shul) Moshe Lesnik. I was so glad to have them there.
Over the summer months I will be planning various programs in celebration of my fiftieth year at HHJC. I look forward to having all of you (my HHJC family) joining and celebrating with me at the upcoming events.
Enjoy your summer!
See you in Shul.
Cantor Sol Zim