I schepped nachas (beamed with pride) as another Or Ami intern became a rabbi. Eric Berk, a rabbinic intern this year who previously served as rabbinic intern for us during his second year in school, ascended the bimah to be ordained “Rabbi in Israel.” Rabbi Berk, a thoughtful, compassionate, Israel-loving Jew, wrote a thesis illuminating the connections between the poetry of the late Israeli national poet Yehuda Amichai and the Biblical Ecclesiastes. He has taught in our religious school, mishpacha, and temple teen night; gave sermons from our pulpit; read the service at High Holy Days; challenged my thinking on numerous occasions, pushing me to open myself to new possibilities. We shall miss his presence at the synagogue. Rabbi Berk will soon be entering the placement process to find a position which suits his interests.
Eric joins an esteemed group of former Or Ami interns who are now rabbis, including
- Rabbi Alissa Forrest, Temple Isaiah, Lafayette, CA
- Rabbi Brett Krichiver, Stephen S. Wise Temple, Los Angeles, CA
- Rabbi Rony Keller, Congregation Beth Israel, Scottsdale, AZ
- Rabbi Rebecca Hoffman, Director of Family Education, Abraham Joshua Heschel Day School, Northridge, CA
- Rabbi Corie Yutkin, Congregation B’nai Israel, Baton Rouge, LA
- Rabbi Michael Lotker, Temple Ner Ami, Camarillo, CA
- Rabbi Idit Jacques, Vice President of Jewish Education and Identity, Columbus Jewish Federation, Columbus, OH
- Rabbi Lisa Levenberg, Educator, Shir Hadash, Los Gatos, CA
We are proud of them all. Their good works at Or Ami still illuminate our lives; the good works they now do beyond Or Ami’s area brighten our entire Jewish community.