And the Sun Sets on Congregation B’nai Torah

In Ecclesiastes we are told:

For every season there is a purpose under heaven:

A time to be born, a time to die…a time to build, a time to tear down. (Ecclesiastes 3:1ff)

This Shabbat is my final service at Congregation B’nai Torah in Highland Park, Illinois. Next week, is the congregation’s final service before it closes its doors for good on June 30th.

I will be moving to Stony Brook, New York to become the rabbi of Temple Isaiah.

For me, I get to begin a new chapter in a vibrant and vital community.

For my B’nai Torah community, however, the congregants have to cope with the pain, loss and anguish of watching their beloved congregation of almost 60 years cease to exist.

Sunset on Lake Michigan, view from B'nai Torah. Photo credit: Sharon Sobel
Sunset on Lake Michigan, view from B’nai Torah. Photo credit: Sharon Sobel

Congregation B’nai Torah was once the center of liberal Jewish religious life on the North Shore of Lake Michigan. As the sun sets on this once prestigious synagogue, it represents the end of an era.

This is a sad day for us all. But just as the sun sets each evening, a new dawn does break. It will take time to find the beauty in the new day. To find a way back toward healing and wholeness.

I will offer these words to my beloved community this evening:

My Farewell Remarks to My Congregation B’nai Torah Community, Friday, June 20, 2014

Rabbi Evan Moffic, of Solel Congregation also wrote a beautiful piece:

We All Hurt When A Synagogue Closes

Shabbat Shalom – may it be a Shabbat of peace, healing and community.


One thought on “And the Sun Sets on Congregation B’nai Torah”

  1. It has to be the most unhappiest day for you to close a temple that you have developed a good relationship with all your congregants. I could never imagine such a horrific feeling. Just remember, Sharon you will do extraordinary wherever your go. That is just your happy personality. Please keep in touch. I have friends on Long Island as I used to live there before I moved to New Jersey. When I get up there, I would love to get to see you.
    Judy Plavnick.

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