A Letter From Rabbi Katz

To My CBE Family,

It is with excitement for the future and gratitude for the last ten years that I announce I will become the Rabbi at Temple Ner Tamid in Bloomfield, N.J. starting July 1st.

Ten years ago, I arrived knowing very little about how to be a rabbi. You grew me from a Yachad teacher (4th and 6th grade) into a student rabbi. Then, you guided me as I was ordained and began to formally serve CBE full-time, first as the Assistant Rabbi and then in my current role of Associate Rabbi. Together we learned and prayed, laughed and celebrated, sang and danced, marched and mourned.

I am the rabbi I am today because you let me into your lives. You opened up your hearts and taught me how to comfort. You opened up your minds and taught me the power of teaching Torah. You opened up your hands and showed me the value of helping those in need. You elevated your spirit and taught me what it means to live with spiritual intention. Your love for your family and friends helped me understand the power and importance of community.

The reason I feel ready for this next phase of my rabbinate is because I have had the most amazing rabbinic role-models to prepare me for this moment. First, Rabbi Andy Bachman  helped me understand the incredible impact synagogues can have on a person, a neighborhood, a city, and the world. Then Rabbi Rachel Timoner built on these lessons, modeling compassion and thoughtful engagement, inspiring me to step into her vision of a relationship-centered community where meaning making is paramount and people come first.

I have also been blessed to work with Cantor Josh Breitzer, one of the musical lights our movement as well as countless clergy partners: Rabbi Shira Koch Epstein, Cantor Shanna Zell, Cantor Sam Netov, Student Cantor Sarah Grabiner, Rabbi Dan Bronstein, Cantor Janet Leuchter and others. I have been especially blessed to learn from our Student Rabbi Matt Green who has already left his indelible mark on CBE.

The funny thing about rabbinic transition timelines is that it forces a slow goodbye, but that’s actually a good thing. I’ll be here until the end of June and want to take that time to personally tell each of you how much you have meant to me and how much I have learned from you. My time at CBE has embodied the rabbinic adage:

“I have learned much from my teachers, more from my colleagues, and the most from my students” (Ta’anis 7a)

And I won’t be far away. Like many Brooklynites, I’m moving to the Montclair area. It’s a familiar story and I’m overjoyed to be part of it. Come visit!

I hope you appreciate how remarkable the CBE community is. And it is that way because of each of you.

May this community keep moving from strength to strength in the years ahead.

Rabbi Marc Katz

*Read the email Rabbi Timoner and Jonathan Fried sent to the community reflecting on the lasting impression Rabbi Katz has made on our community.