I have been kevelling to anyone and everyone that will listen about the amazing and wonderful congregants of TKE. But, it is so much more than that. We have the best volunteer staff, the most amazing Board, incredible teachers and educators, talent, talent, talent! And, our family is devoted to our success, devoted to each other. If the old adage "a chain is only as strong as it's weakest link" is true, than Temple Kol Emeth in Marietta, Georgia is a pretty strong chain!
I must share with you a very personal experience from the Camp Coleman 50th Anniversary/Reunion. It is no secret that one of the reasons Batya and I are delighted to be back in Atlanta is that we will be able to send Carlie to Camp Coleman. Camp Coleman has been a part of my family since 1985 - 27 years! It was so amazing spending time and celebrating with so many more amazing people. There are, however, two very special people I want to send a very special shout out to: Malka Altman (the Mom of Camp Coleman) and Emily Aronoff Teck (my daughter's new favorite person!).
Malka Altman has been and continues to be a very special and important person in my life. Seeing her and spending time with her this past weekend just reconfirmed what I have always known: I love Malka Altman...and I am so delighted that Carlie was able to meet her (and hopefully spend more time with her in the future). L'dor V'dor as we say - from generation to generation. As Malka was Mom, friend, supporter, etc. to me for the last 27 years, I look forward to Carlie being able to say the same thing. Passing Camp Coleman on to Carlie is so special and when I think about the memories she will make, I am just thrilled.
Emily Aronoff Teck - I remember her from when she was a 10 year old little girl running around Camp Coleman. Now, not only am I so blessed to be the rabbi at her home congregation, I get to spend time with her watching her do what she does best - make kids smile, sing, and just have fun. If you haven't seen the production and performance of the song she helped our kids write this past weekend at Camp Coleman, please click on this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPvScAkkMRA. Let me tell you - Emily is amazing. To see my daughter smile and tell me that she loves Miss Emily...tears came to my eyes. With so many wonderful Jewish song leaders out there, it may be hard sometimes to decide which one to bring to your community. I have worked with and sang with many, many of the Jewish rockers out there. Miss Emily is new, exciting and just a fantastic influence on our kids.
Check out her website: www.missemilycelebrates.com. You will not regret it - and I promise you that you will have fun!
As we continue this time of reflection in the month of Elul, as we approach the High Holy Days, let us express our appreciation and gratitude to all of those in our lives that have had special significance. Today, I am thankful for: Malka Altman, all of the many wonderful rabbis that have helped make Camp Coleman a spiritual and religious place for myself and thousands upon thousands of Jewish kids (and adults), Miss Emily, Allan Solomon, David Israel, Andy Hodes, Adam Tabachnikoff, Susan Linder, Sandy Sherman, Grace Sherman, Fred and Mara Menachem, Theron Thomas, Bobby Harris, Momma and Poppa Dref, Joui Hessel, Bruce Silverman, Ari and Susan Halpern, Sunny Goldin Freeman, Jo Ellen Unger, Steve Zielonka, Mike Russo, Mark and Saul Kaiserman, Susie Silverman Fages, Jason Boxt, and so many, many others!