Rabbi Moshe Silberschein will be leaving Buffalo later this spring to return to Israel. The Rabbi has served throughout the year as the Interim Rabbi of Temple Beth Tzedek (TBT).
“Rabbi Silberschein will be missed by the entire TBT community,” said Andy Gewurz, Temple President. “I have thoroughly enjoyed not only our Rabbi-President relationship, but our personal friendship. He is a mensch and can’t thank him enough for his steady leadership over the last ten months.”
In a recent conversation, the Rabbi shared some of his reflections on his year at TBT.
Having been an interim rabbi before, my wife Susie and I had it all planned out: She would come to Buffalo for 2 weeks in September, I would be back in Israel for a 2 week home leave in January, and Susie and the “boys” (our sons Aviad age 27 and Alon age 26) would join me right before, during, and after Pesach in Buffalo. The almost year apart would be bearable that way. However, things don’t always work out the way you plan them. “A mentsch tracht un Godt lacht” ( A man plans and then God goes “kerplam”!).
“Next year in Jerusalem” this year at the Seder was never so poignant, and home is definitely where the heart is; but Buffalo is definitely the Good Neighbor City and will always be one of my homes away from home. So many people in the community made sure that my Passover this year was meaningful and festive even without the family here. And thankfully I’ve been so busy keeping the TBT Congregational Family going that I haven’t had too much time to feel sorry for myself and for that big family reunion in April that never took place. And now, I’m busy learning new skills which I’ll take back to Israel with me. For years, friends of mine who run University Jewish studies programs in the US have tried to convince me to teach online for them from Jerusalem, and my answer to them was always: “No way. I need to be in the same room with my students in order to interact and engage with them.” But after a crash course this spring on Zoom, teaching for my Shule, Buffalo Jewish Engagement and Canisius College – I’m now more than ready and able and even excited to teach long distance online.
TBT will be bidding farewell to the Rabbi at a unique celebration on Tuesday, May 26th from 7-8:30 pm at the JCC parking lot. More information is available at the Temple’s website here.
On behalf of a grateful Jewish Buffalo, we thank Rabbi Moshe for being a part of our community this year and say, L’hitraot – we hope to see you again soon (virtually or in person)!