On Being a First Timer

What is it like being a first timer at Convention 2017?

It’s thrilling because I have so many new colleagues (and there are so many of you here, I cannot believe there are more!).

It’s profound because, let’s face it — being in the presence of so many gifted teachers, preachers, and leaders is heady, challenging, and soul-stirring all at once.

And it’s humbling. Because I am discovering how I fit in to this new group. I am a second career rabbi, bringing to my rabbinate a unique intertwining of wisdom and training.

But is it enough?  Will I be enough? To paraphrase a midrash shared with convention attendees on Monday morning  by incoming CCAR President David Stern, when our holy work springs from the essence of who we are, the Divine is revealed.

My holy work is publishing text. In doing this work, my goal is to support each and every one of you and your communities. I do it, as part of the amazing CCAR Press team, by creating worship and practice resources, and by thinking ahead to the ways in which Judaism’s sacred inheritance can be best taught and interpreted for today’s world.

Being a first timer is to be filled with gratitude for the privilege to serve, and to do this work.

Rabbi Beth Lieberman serves as executive editor at CCAR Press.