Rabbi Mark Miller
Congregation Beth Israel

Dear Aharon,

As I sit in this powerful time between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, I often look back to the experiences that brought me here so that I can best figure out how to move forward.  And when this happens, I am so reminded of the four incredible months I spent with you in Tzfat [21] years ago.  How the time flies!

I still tell people all the time that Livnot U’Lehibanot was the most important turning point in my journey from typical Jewish kid with a love for Israel and only a faint connection to my heritage, to a reform Rabbi who spends every day working hard to continue building the Jewish community.  I am so thankful for the vision you and Miriam shared with me, and for a program that allowed me the time, space, and access to strong role models who helped me explore a tradition that I didn’t know much about. It gave me a chance to learn about some very meaningful aspects of Jewish life from the inside, and I still believe there is no better way to learn about being Jewish than to experience it.  Although I did not necessarily walk away from Livnot more observant, I did have a better understanding about how to make Jewish decisions and a strong desire to continue learning to be more involved in my Jewish community.  I couldn’t be happier, and I owe so much to you and the entire Livnot program.

Thank you, Aharon, and good luck as you and your family continue to grow into the future!

G’mar Chatimah Tovah–may you all be inscribed for a good year.
Rabbi Mark Miller
Reform
Congregation Beth Israel
Houston, TX
http://www.beth-israel.org/

Originally published in the booklet Livnot Chevre-Rabbis, 2009