May 2015 Bazman

2420 East Hillcrest Drive Thousand Oaks, CA 91362 (805) 497-7101

Bazman Hazeh

“In These Times”

Iyar - Sivan 5775

VOL. 48 NO. 8

MAY 2015

Rebecca L. Dubowe, Rabbi Barry Diamond, Interim Rabbi

Aliza Goland, Executive Director Marcy Goldberg, Director of Education Donna Becker, ECC Director

Seth Stevens, President, Board of Directors Alan Greenbaum, Rabbi Emeritus

David Shukiar, Cantor


pring is not just an annual event. Typically, we think of springtime as the months of April and May, but spring is more than a period of time. It is a state of being, a measure of the health and vitality of a group of people. When I arrived here, just under two years ago, our congregation had just experienced its autumn. Anger, mistrust and a sense of betrayal blew through the hallways of this congregation, carrying with them a detritus of disappointment and frustration. Having grown up in Southern California, I realize that there is little difference between the experience of fall and that of winter . However, if you travel north and east, there is something powerful that happens when a powdery snow covers the earth. Everything appears to be asleep. And everything takes extra effort. When the air is frozen and the world is covered with snow, the simple act of grocery shopping takes a herculean effort. But wise people see this not as a time of loss but as a time of planning. During our collective winter, our Board of Directors charged several groups to offer input and wisdom. The Board directed the Rabbinic Search Committee to reflect on the congregation’s wants and needs. It sought the input of hundreds of congregants through surveys, conversations, and town hall meetings. The Board reflected on how it did its own work and how it might improve. On the surface, it may appear as though little changed during those winter months; but, in fact, the groundwork for growth was nurtured and prepared.

And now we come to the spring. The blanket of snow is being removed, revealing a budding array of growth. Rabbi Straus comes to this congregation of fertile soil, filled with ideas and beginning to plant seeds. Next year’s lay leadership is taking its place, ready to work in partnership with the Rabbi, the staff, and with you. We hear the buzz of excitement and we see the budding of possibility. It is no overstatement to say that the tilling of the winter will lead to a verdant spring. As for me, my time at Adat Elohim is drawing to a close. It has been my pleasure working and growing with you. It has been a privilege to work with the Board and especially with Seth Stevens, who has consistently demonstrated uncommon wisdom and dedication. I have also been fortunate to have worked with a remarkable staff: Rabbi Dubowe, Cantor Shukiar, Aliza Goland, Marcy Goldberg, and

Donna Becker, and the many other members of the staff and faculty, each of whom ably serves as your partner in the leadership of this congregation. You will still see me through mid-June, when I move to my next assignment in Coralville (Iowa City), Iowa. There I will carry my books, but more importantly, I will bring with me the relationships that I have come to cherish over these two years. Thank you for making my time in Thousand Oaks one that has been filled with joy and friendship.

All the best, Rabbi Barry Diamond

Made with