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    Rabbi's Congregational Letter

Dear CBO,

Over the last 8 years, I have experienced two parallel transformations that are very much intertwined: that of our beloved community, and my own personal growth.

When I first arrived in Bellmore, I was a recently ordained rabbi developing her first tools as a community leader. We had 175 households and the only other full-time staff member was the incredible Chris Weiss, who not only knew every phone number of our members by heart, but also served our community for almost 20 years. Today, we boast over 315 member households and our staff has significantly expanded: we not only have the remarkable dedication of Laura and Michele in the office, but our full-time senior leadership has grown to include the creative talents of Cantor Diamond and Ellen Agulnick.  After 2 mergers, 3 missions to Israel and a fully renovated and beautiful sanctuary, we have a lot to be proud of.

Each one of you has touched my life and contributed to my growth as a rabbi and a person. You have been my teachers, my inspiration, and my community. That is why it is so hard to share with you that I have decided to shift away from being a full-time congregational rabbi. At this point, it is my calling to help people transform their lives on an individual level. I plan to devote my professional energy to building my practice as a life coach guided by the principles of Torah, leadership development, and mindset work. While this change will not take place at least until the upcoming summer, I’m sharing the news now so that the shul has time to prepare. I want you to know that while I have made the decision to pursue a new professional horizon,  CBO will continue to be a community that I call home.

There are still specific details - such as a formal end date in my role as CBO’s rabbi - that are yet to be finalized with our leadership and will be determined by the result of the search CBO will shortly start for a new rabbi. As I have expressed to our president, I am committed to supporting the congregation and its leadership throughout this transition. I have no doubt that whomever becomes the new rabbi will soon discover how much heart, strength, pizazz, and love this congregation has.

Should you have any questions or want to connect with me, as always we can set up time to talk. Please email me at rabbi.bernstein@cbohr.org.

B’shalom,
Rabbi Dahlia Bernstein

Wed, December 1 2021 27 Kislev 5782