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Letter from our President

A Message from Our President, Sheryl Reback

Dear TAO Family, Members and Friends,

When I experienced my first Shabbos service with TAO in November of 2012, I had no idea how my life was about to change, or that I might be an instrument of change for TAO. I went with no understanding of Jewish Renewal, I had never heard of Rabbi Marc, and, frankly, only knew what I had read online, that TAO did not have its own building, and that services were held at an art gallery a good 45 minutes from my home, without traffic.

Today, two and a half years later, I am humbled and overjoyed to step into the position of President of Temple Adath Or, with the heartfelt intention of returning to the community all I have received, to ensure our current members, guests and new members feel unconditional acceptance and deep spiritual connections to each other, self and to God, and to support our Rabbi’s and community's vision to continue to thrive and to grow.

You can read all about Jewish Renewal, and I can sum it up for you in one word: JOY! Joy is defined as “A feeling of great pleasure and happiness.” The feeling as we share the beauty and warmth of the Shabbos candles illuminating our community, as together we sing the prayers welcoming the Sabbath, the blessings we offer in celebration of special events, such as a baby naming, wedding, birthday, anniversary and, yes, even in the offering of support and comfort to those in need, cannot be put into words, and can always be felt with the heart. I have learned that one’s temple, one’s sacred space, is not defined by the stained glass on the windows, but by the warmth of a hug, and the knowledge that you are home.

Why is there joy in our community? Joy starts at the top, with our leadership. Watching Rabbi Marc, whether he is leading a Shabbos service, Wisdom Class, Meditation Retreat, or participating in our All Fed Project, IS a joy, and you can feel his, which is contagious. Connecting with him, and with each other, is what TAO is all about. We are a special community, a unique community, a joyful community, a community of light.

What do I love about TAO? That’s easy. It’s about the people and the programs, and the opportunities to learn and expand my mind as well as my heart. Through Women’s Spirituality Group, Men’s Spirituality Group, Wisdom Class, the B’nai Mitzvah Class, Saturday morning Shabbos service and Torah learning, and monthly meditation, we connect with each other on a level different from our daily interactions. Through our Chesed programs, People of Distinction luncheon, Spa Day, Coffee House Cabaret, and community Seder, we share laughter and love, while supporting the secular and our TAO communities.

This year, we are going to experience High Holidays as we never have before! We have a new location, the musicians and choir are gearing up to move you spiritually, and Rabbi Marc and Rabbi Phil will, as always, inspire us with their words as they lead us in prayer through the Days of Awe. If you have never been to a TAO High Holiday service, you are in for a treat! If you have been, then you know what to look forward to! We hope you will join us, in membership, in community, in prayer, and always, in JOY!

“We hold people, not prayer books.”

Yours with warm spirituality,
Sheryl Reback,

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