Union for Reform Judaism Member Congregation

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How do you say good-bye to the rabbi who has been your leader, mentor, and friend for 26 years?

There’s no perfect way, but you do your best. In Union Temple that means gathering the whole mishpucha — friends and family of Rabbi Goodman, the congregation, and the cantors we sang with throughout the years — to celebrate with beautiful music and, of course, lots of food.

The day started with Cantors in Concert. We were overjoyed to see our former musical director Pedro d’Aquino, who conducted, as well as those who served as our student cantors: Kerith Spencer Shapiro, Todd Kipnis, Rebecca Moses, Mary Thomas, Mary Dubinsky, Michael Kruk, Lauren Phillips, and Emma Goldin Lutz. Guest performers included Rabbi Cantor Audrey Halpern and Cantor Kenneth Feibush. Of course, our current student cantor Ben Harris joined in, and temple musician Shinae Kim accompanied the singers on piano with Iván Barenboim on clarinet.

What a treat! Hebrew psalms. Yiddish folk tunes. French love songs. Every moment mesmerized us (and our guest pigeon). We rose to a standing ovation at the final notes of the rousing Hallelujah!

Then on to the Farewell Gala. There was the usual feast. Union Temple officers and members shared their love, memories and best wishes. Guest clergy paid tribute. We got personal perspectives on from Rabbi’s husband Rabbi Stephen Wise Goodman and son Philip, and Linda herself.

We couldn’t let our Rabbi leave without presenting her with gifts. A beautifully framed print of the Gala logo was unveiled. Additionally, a striking engraved tray was presented on behalf of the trustees.

Good-bye Rabbi Linda Henry Goodman. We will miss you. We thank you for everything you’ve done and wish you good health and joy in your next step.

Photos by Nat Nichols and Ellen Kolikoff, www.n-kphotography.com