01 June 2015

Thrilled To Join the 92Y

photo by Stefano Giovannini
June 1, 2015
14 Sivan 5775

Dear Friends,

I write to share with you the exciting news that beginning in July, I will be the Director of Jewish Content and Community Ritual at the 92Y, historically one of New York City’s and America’s most important Jewish cultural institutions.  I am thrilled to be working with Rabbi Peter Rubinstein, Senior Rabbi Emeritus at Central Synagogue and the director of the 92Y’s Bronfman Center for Jewish Life, as well as the 92Y’s executive director Henry Timms.  This will be an extraordinary opportunity to build on the work we did together here in Brooklyn and expand throughout New York City the conversation about Jewish values, literature, culture, social justice and Israel.

When I made the decision to step away from the pulpit last year, it was to pursue Jewish and social justice issues more broadly throughout our city.  The broader questions of race, education and equity in our city and nation animate my commitments as never before.

During the past year I have met with inspiring leaders, educators, activists, politicians, entrepreneurs, and daring investors.  I have been so moved by these leaders’ mission-driven work in making the world a better place for all - from community school activists in the Bronx, Harlem to criminal justice reformers in Red Hook and Crown Heights.  I plan on deepening my commitment to these causes at home and very much look forward to sharing this journey with you.

Rachel and I and our girls are staying here in Brooklyn, our home now for more than 25 years - many of those spent with you in the Beth Elohim community.  We have raised our children together, shared life’s triumphs and tragedies together, and along with you and so many others, created a fabric of meaning and connectedness that has enriched so many in the synagogue and broader Brooklyn community.  

I have been privileged to have had two periods of service to CBE, each of which were enormous sources of personal growth and evolution and will always have special meaning for our family.  Together we have dramatically strengthened our synagogue and deepened our engagement with the broader Brooklyn community.  We can all take pride in the challenges we have faced, the lessons learned, and our accomplishments together, setting the stage for continued success under the leadership of my new friend, Rabbi Rachel Timoner, who will succeed me next month.

Let me close by expressing my thanks to our talented and dedicated clergy leadership team, Cantor Josh Breitzer and Rabbi Marc Katz, as well as the entire inspired staff at CBE; to our devoted lay leadership and to the countless members of our historic and sacred synagogue community who have given so much to our success together.  Thank you for your friendship, partnership and support in helping me lay the groundwork for this next chapter of Jewish life for all of us.  

Finally, Rachel joins me in inviting you to please celebrate with our family on Friday night June 12 at a special service and Oneg Shabbat at 6:30 pm.   We will pray, sing, and drink l’chaim as we go from strength to strength!

In friendship,

Andy Bachman

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