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Right Under Your Nose.

on Wednesday, May 9 2012. Posted by Rabbi Efrem Goldberg

To many, the initials R.C.A. are reminiscent of a popular electronics company that was cutting edge in its time, but has been defunct since 1986.  However, to me and over 1,000 Rabbis across North America, the acronym R.C.A. is very much alive, vibrant, and active.  I am proud to serve as a national Vice President for the Rabbinical Council of America, a prestigious professional organization that serves as a voice of the Modern Orthodox Rabbinate and provides important services to its members.   One of the most important functions of the RCA is to bring Rabbis together and to cultivate a sense of camaraderie, brotherhood, and connection for a group of individuals who can sometimes feel isolated and alone.  

This week, the RCA held its annual convention.  Unlike most years when it is held in NY, this year’s meeting was hosted in LA and was attended by Rabbis from across the country.   There were some great sessions, but the most impactful part of the program, for me, came from a very unexpected place.   Over the course of the conference, I had the opportunity to meet and shmooze with many Rabbis.  Naturally, the conversation turned to Shul life and how things are going.  After listening to many colleagues, I came away from the RCA conference with a renewed sense of how lucky, fortunate, and blessed I am to be the Rabbi of Boca Raton Synagogue.  

Allow me to share the top ten reasons why BRS is the best place to be a Rabbi in the whole world:

  1. You treat me and my family like we are part of your family.  We have been blessed to  forge incredible relationships and have learned so much from so many of you.
  2. Our lay leadership, particularly our President, couldn’t be easier to work with.  They are amazingly supportive, caring, and concerned for the Rabbis and staff.
  3. “That’s not the way we do it here” has never been said at BRS.  You give us the freedom and flexibility to introduce new ideas, programs, and plans, as long as they are financially responsible and make sense.
  4. I have the best co-workers who each are talented, committed to the BRS mission and fun to work with.  
  5. You keep moving in, without our even doing a recruitment campaign.  This past year, 35 new families moved to Boca and joined the BRS community.  This summer, we are already expecting a great influx of new families as well. 
  6. You volunteer when we need you to help make a Shiva Minyan, cook a meal, stuff envelopes in the office, or donate blood, and you do it all with a smile on your face.   
  7. You are passionate about Israel and participate in making our voices heard as pro Israel activists at AIPAC and beyond.
  8. You care deeply about Outreach and assist Rabbi Josh Broide and BRS in meeting new people who could benefit from our programs and classes.  
  9. You love to learn – on your own, with Chavrusas or when you come to one of the many Shiurim our community is privileged to offer.   You filled up our Achdut B’Torah Siyum chart in record time.
  10. You are philanthropic, generous and kind and help me care for those less privileged through Tomchei Shabbat, the Scholarship Fund, and the Chesed Fund.

“Lechu vanim shim’u li, Go my sons, listen to me.”  The pasuk should say, “Bo, come my sons,” why does it say go?  Sometimes, you have to go away to take notice of the greatest blessing that is right in front of your face.  You and I are not perfect and, as a community, we certainly have things to work on. But, on the whole, the  BRS community is a great blessing for me and my family, and I hope you see it as enriching you and your family as well.

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