On Sunday 27th November the members of Sukkat Shalom Reform Synagogue (SSRS) were invited to a service in the synagogue to mark the retirement of Rabbi Larry Becker and to mark the arrival of Rabbi Dr Tali Artman – Partock. Although Rabbi Tali has been with the synagogue for a year, this particular Sunday, was the first opportunity to carry out an Induction service.
The synagogue members and guests, including Michael Harris Chair of Reform Judaism, were warmly welcomed by the Chair of the Board of Trustees of SSRS, Rachel Savage. The synagogue’s Senior Warden Melvin Pedro then lead the Afternoon Service and Kaddish Titkabbal was jointly recited by Rabbi Tali & Rabbi Larry.
The Torah ceremony and Service of Inauguration was conducted by Rabbi David Hulbert, Rabbi Emeritus of East London & Essex Liberal Synagogue (ELELS). Rabbi David was the synagogues Rabbi prior to Rabbi Larry taking up the post some 10 years ago.
Rabbi David Hulbert gave an address and there was a response from Rabbi Larry & Rabbi Tali.
Rabbi Hulbert spoke warmly of the community & Rabbi Becker, now Emeritus Rabbi of SSRS, spoke of how the synagogue “was and is still part of his family”. He also offered some wise words to Rabbi Tali whom he had encourage to come to SSRS.
Rabbi Deborah Kahn Harris the Principal of Leo Baeck College spoke about Rabbi Tali in the most complimentary of terms. She said that she was full of admiration of how she had progressed as a student Rabbi, taking Semicha and was now not only the Rabbi at SSRS but was also on the teaching staff at the college.
There then followed a musical blessing from Mitzi Kalinsky. This was followed by a Community Prayer which was led by Frank Godson Hon. Life President of SSRS. Before speaking Frank commented on the birth of the community and the number of eminent rabbis who had been associated with the community since its Founding. There had been 5 Part Time Rabbi’s including Rabbi Larry and 4 student Rabbi’s over the past 41 years. Frank commented on how fortunate the synagogue had been to get Rabbi Tali to come to SSRS. He then went on to urge the members of the community to that they support the new Rabbi in her work.
Rabbi Dr Tali Artman Partock then launched a new project for the synagogue called the “Book of Wisdom” and invited all present to write their thoughts into it after the service.
Melvin Pedro then brought the service to an end and the afternoon was capped off with a splendid selection of refreshments.