On February 7 of this year, our congregation met to elect our next Senior Rabbi, only the 6th since Rabbi Felix Levy came to Emanuel in 1907. An electric atmosphere pervaded our meeting that day, so moving to those in attendance. With one voice, we unanimously affirmed our choice of Rabbi Marantz. We can view that meeting as the beginning of an arc, one which will be completed with another important event on December 2, the investiture of Rabbi Marantz as Emanuel Congregation's Senior Rabbi. Investiture, also referred to as installation, is a rite of passage for rabbis. It commonly takes place some time within the first six months of a new rabbi's tenure, giving both the rabbi and the congregation a chance to begin to know each other before formalizing their mutual commitments. Through the ritual of investiture, the rabbi is invested with the sacred responsibility of leading the congregation. It is a time to affirm, celebrate, and sanctify his leadership over the journey we will take together.
By affirming and consecrating the covenant between a rabbi and his congregation, investiture represents a sacred moment in the life of the community. The rabbi and congregation pledge their mutual commitment to the future of the synagogue and to fulfilling their obligations to one another. It therefore requires our presence, both as witness and as participant. By coming together to honor and celebrate Rabbi Marantz in this sacred passage, we also honor the strength of our community, to which each of you adds by being present. For this reason, it is my hope that you will join us on December 2, to contribute by your presence to the holiness of this occasion in the life of our congregation.
The full list of activities surrounding the installation has been described elsewhere - a special oneg Shabbat Friday night, light breakfast and Torah study Saturday morning, a special musical Shabbat service with our guest rabbi on Saturday. As previously mentioned, those who wish to welcome, honor and celebrate our new rabbi with a donation in his name can do so easily through the "donate now" button in this bulletin or through the temple office. We have created for this purpose the Rabbi Marantz Investiture Celebration Fund. Proceeds will be used to promote education, innovation, outreach and programming during Rabbi Marantz's inaugural year with us. I look forward to seeing you all on December 2!