There is so much on my mind - in fact, too much to share here. But, for now, suffice it
to say, I am sad that Tani Prell Epstein has left her position as our Director of Jewish
Learning and Engagement. While I feel good about her next steps at the Art Institute, I
wish our journey together as colleagues at Emanuel had lasted longer. I will miss Tani’s
warmth, her imagination, her energy, and her consistent professional presence. I have
always admired Tani’s discipline, organization, and dedication. She has been a
noteworthy role model for me day-to-day and throughout our various change projects. I
am most proud of and thankful for her service to our community.
During her tenure at Emanuel, Tani taught me a number of important lessons. First, I
have learned anew about the power of teamwork, especially in our small organization
and even more so as we pursue innovation. Second, from my work with Tani (and the
rest of our staff), I also know that we must expand our volunteerism going forward.
The more hands on deck, the better. And, perhaps most important, Tani has taught me
that, as our congregation continues to celebrate diversity, we must also become
outstanding at inclusion, as well. The former doesn’t guarantee the latter. We can
improve - in all these areas. And doing so occupies me and inspires me. I’ll need your
For the time being, I step into the leadership of our religious school. I’m honored to do
so, and I’m ready to serve for as long as I’m needed. While we will spend time behind
the scenes figuring out our ultimate direction, I look forward to working with our
faculty, our students and ECRS families, our Education Committee, and our staff to
ensure success as we meet the excellent standards Tani delivered while here.
I wish Tani, her husband Charles, and her grandparents, Dennis and Marian many
Make it a day of blessing and be a force for good.