Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A Warm and Wonderful Beginning

Rabbi Barry Schwartz led his first Shabbat service here at Congregation Adas Emuno last Friday night, with a full house in attendance, many more than than the usual crowd that comes to pray during these hot summer months.  And as an extra special treat, our new student cantor, Luke Hawley, also joined us, supplying a mix of traditional cantorial virtuosity with guitar-in-hand song-leading that rocked the house!

Were you there?  If you were, you witnessed the warmth and spirituality of our new rabbi as he introduced himself to our congregation in memorable fashion.  And not only was his whole family present for his debut, but we also played host to a contingent of his former congregants from M'Kor Shalom in Cherry Hill, NJ, who came up to wish Rabbi Schwartz well!

To be fair, there were a few stumbles along the way as our new clergy worked together for the first time, but that is only to be expected, and what came shining through was their wonderful humanity, and the marvelous kavanah, the spirituality of the heart that they both exemplify.  We truly are blessed!

Services were followed by a champagne oneg, hosted by Adas Emuno President Alan Spector, and as it was also his birthday, the kiddush and ha-motzi were followed by a hearty round of "Happy Birthday," to Alan and to a young visitor from Cherry Hill who was also celebrating his birthday.  And what a fine birthday present for our congregation's president, brand new clergy and a packed sanctuary!

And hey, if you missed services last Friday, don't worry, we're only just beginning.  While we can't promise champagne and birthday cake every week, Rabbi Schwartz will be back with us this Friday night, and for a long time to come!  So join us, please, as we embark on this new chapter in the history of Adas Emuno.

For more about our new rabbi, see our previous post:  Welcome Rabbi Schwartz!

For more about our new cantor, keep an eye for an upcoming post profiling Luke Hawley.

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