Friday, Nov. 13, 2015 - Rabbi Boaz Heilman's officially installation foretold the coming years of rich interaction among young and old in our temple. Every part of the evening was filled with tradition and meaning. We joyously celebrated his arrival in our midst.
Read: Rabbi's Installation Sermon
The tone of the evening was set at an installation dinner for one hundred people, temple members, community clergy and leaders of community social services. Collectively, members provided a sumptuous dinner, with a post-service Oneg that included a surprise birthday cake for Rabbi Heilman.
Highlights of the service began with a religious school offering, coached by school director Glenna Lee. The children chanted the candle lighting blessing and then presented and read a book of blessings that they had made for their Rabbi, who was all smiles, thanks and blessings, in return. A warm ceremonial passing of the Torah through the hands of eight past and present temple presidents, into the care of our Rabbi, symbolically fulfilled the injunction to pass the Torah from generation to generation. The Torah service was enriched by the Rabbi’s wife, Rabbi Sally Finestone, chanting from Torah after the Rabbi chanted the single Aliyah of the evening.
Temple President Marsha Ostroff shared the rabbi’s history through the story of his progress from birth in Israel, the family’s move to the United States, his extensive music education and career, concertizing as a classical pianist, his return to Israel, completion of his military service there and subsequent return to the United States. He became a rabbi over twenty years ago and was the religious leader in Temple B’nai Torah in Sudbury, Mass., until he joined Temple B’nai Israel three months ago.
Pastor Tom Getchell-Lacey, representing the Greater Laconia Interfaith Council, spoke of the hand extended by Temple B’nai Israel in his congregation’s hour of need for a place to worship. Bob Selig, Past President of TBI, talked about our role in the inception and continuation of the Jewish Federation of New Hampshire.
Rabbi Heilman has already excited congregants with his gift for entwining Torah with our contemporary lives. The spirit of this occasion pervades each of the services he leads, In the three months Rabbi Heilman has led our congregation, we have been blanketed with the quiet strength of his gifts, his deep knowledge of Judaism and human nature, his to approach to Torah – and to life.