The Agudas Achim and Ezrath Jewish congregations combined in 2003 to form Congregation Agudas Achim - Ezrath Israel. Temple Agudas Achim-Ezrath Israel also offers programs for men and women and holds Shabbat geared towards children and families.
As I reflect on the past nine years that I have been privileged to serve as your rabbi, I cannot help but think of all the wonderful gatherings we have had, the spiritual services, the Sisterhood and Brotherhood events, the lovely Seder meals, the concerts and study sessions, Yom Ha-Shoah commemorations and adult education courses that have enriched our Jewish observance and kept intact and vibrant the social fabric of our Jewish community. I think back of the Bnai Mitzvah – few but precious, the weddings and anniversaries, the birthdays and baby-namings, the conversions that have enriched our personal and communal experiences.
I cannot but feel a sense of sadness as I think of all those individuals, dear to this congregation, whom I accompanied to their final resting places, those who have departed this earth but are still so present in memory and thought to all of us.
I recall warmly the High Holidays I shared with you and my father Rabbi Harold Kudan, whom you welcomed so warmly and whose wisdom and experience you appreciated and embraced, indeed, you welcomed Barbara and my entire family and they felt very much at home at AA-EI.
It is with a mixture of sadness, nostalgia, and gratitude that we bring this chapter of my rabbinic career to a close – as I will conclude my tenure as rabbi of Agudas Achim – Ezrath Israel at the end of June, in order to take over the new full-time post of rabbi of the new congregation Temple Tiferet Shalom, formed this winter in the consolidation of Temple Tifereth Israel of Malden and Temple Beth Shalom of Peabody. I look forward to the challenges of serving a larger congregation with a vibrant school population and an active and growing membership.
I hope that I will have opportunities in the next few weeks to say goodbye personally to many of you, and to continue to reflect and reminisce over experiences we have shared. I also wish to assure you that I am not leaving the Boston community, and I hope that you we can still remain in connection, and I will strive to be available to you as my duties permit until new rabbinic leadership is chosen or if the congregation will be largely lay-led.
The Talmudic tractate, Ethics of the Fathers, asks, “Who is wise?” The text then proposes the answer: “He who learns from every person.” While I cannot claim great wisdom, I know that I have learned from each and every one of you – and the lessons I have gleaned have made me a better rabbi. I thank you for all your kindness and warmth, your acceptance and respect, your trust and friendship.
May we all go from strength to strength and continue to apply the lessons of our tradition to the end of bringing more Shalom to our world, more meaning to our existence, more Torah to our people, and more love to our fellow human beings.
Rabbi David Kudan
Holiday services will be conducted by Rabbi David Kudan, accompanied by Sexton Wayne Freedman and Cantorial Soloist Phyllis Werlin, as well as lay leaders of the Congregation. Click Services for further information on our regular services and our special holiday services. Cancellations will be announced on channels 4, 5 and 7.
Agudas Achim - Ezrath Israel 245 Bryant Street Malden, MA 02148