The Blessing of Welcoming 
Rabbi Jen Gubitz to Temple Israel
Baruch Haba is the Hebrew phrase for welcome. The actual translation is "blessed is the one who has arrived." We offer such a blessing around our Seder tables and throughout the year. Blessing is about opening a sacred pathway to the recognition of what is happening in the moment and what is possible in the future. It combines humility, offering from the heart, and interconnectedness between the one who blesses and the one who receives blessing. 
As we celebrate the completion of Rabbi Ronne Friedman's long and brilliant tenure at Temple Israel, our talented staff, devoted lay leaders, and energetic clergy have been busy planning for a new era in congregational life. As we looked to the future, we recognized that we needed to assure a clergy structure that would underscore our deeply held values of welcome and warmth, and retain our ability to reach out and engage diverse populations in the great Boston community. In partnership with our leaders and clergy, we received Board of Trustees' approval to hire a rabbi through the process designated by the Hebrew Union College and the Central Conference of American Rabbis. 
To strengthen our efforts, we interviewed rabbinic students graduating from Hebrew Union College and rabbis already out in the field early in their career. We met wonderful candidates but only one stood out as our next rabbi. Her name is Rabbi Jen Gubitz.  She comes to us after serving as Associate Rabbi at Shir Tikvah in Wayland. She is eager to focus her rabbinate on new kinds of engagement, bringing to it creativity and enthusiasm. Kind, wise, thoughtful, intelligent and thoroughly dedicated to the Jewish people is how she has been described, and how we feel about her. In rabbinical school, she was a star student of our own Rabbi Mehlman. She grew up in the Reform Movement, and she was active in youth group and Jewish summer camping where she served as head song leader. Her range and depth of knowledge of the Jewish world will greatly benefit our congregation.
Our new Associate Rabbi, Rabbi Gubitz, will direct the Riverway Project and other key engagement initiatives. Rabbi Matthew Soffer, who has brought the Riverway Project to new heights with hundreds of participants in its monthly Shabbat experiences, will take on new responsibilities while continuing to focus on many urgent social justice initiatives. Rabbi Suzie Jacobson will continue to bring her magical energy to our Education program across the age spectrum. Cantor Roy Einhorn, as always, will bring his musical talent and warmth to everything he does. As Senior Rabbi, I will focus my attention on securing our future, expanding our vision, strengthening our connections, and working collaboratively with our leaders, staff, clergy, and congregation.
We are eager for you to meet Rabbi Gubitz in the coming weeks. She will join our clergy team on August 1st. We will welcome her with the blessing, Brucha haba'ah, for bringing her many gifts, talents, and abilities to Temple Israel, and we are blessed to receive her with an open heart into the embrace of this community.
With every good wish for a wonderful Passover,
Rabbi Elaine Zecher
Christopher Noe, Temple Israel President