The Installation of Rabbi Jeffrey Arnowitz

By Jeff & Jennifer Lavine, Ilana & Howie Moskowitz, 
and Rachel & Scott Aronow
Installation Co-Chairs

Did you know that the installation of a Rabbi is an innovation pioneered by the American Jewish community? In Eastern Europe, spiritual leaders of congregations were seldom if ever installed. Instead, a new Rabbi was presented with a contract that was signed off by the respected elders of the congregation upon hire. There were no Rabbi Search Committees, no Rabbi Transition Committees, and certainly no Installation Committees. Our approach to hiring and integrating a new Senior Rabbi is more inclusive and transparent!

Rabbi Elliot Schoenberg, Senior Vice President of the Rabbinical Assembly, writes that the installation is a moment when the new Rabbi and the congregation recommit to the pursuit of the holy.

We hope that you will join the WJC community Sunday, December 8 at 10:30am as we participate in and celebrate—with music, dancing, and food—the installation of Rabbi Jeffrey Arnowitz as our third Senior Rabbi in the last 72 years. In addition to a formal ceremony and festive lunch, the installation will be the culmination of the 613 Mitzvah Campaign, which was launched by Rabbi Arnowitz at the September 8 barbecue. During the installation, we will acknowledge the 612 Mitzvot that have been performed and experience the 613th Mitzvah, which as we know is the number of Mitzvot listed in the Torah.

In the words of Rabbi Arnowitz from his High Holidays message: “By completing 613 Mitzvot together, we are symbolically reaffirming this sacred congregation’s acceptance of the Torah and our role in God’s plan. In a sense, we will be celebrating more than my taking the post of Rabbi; we will be celebrating our partnership in bringing more sacredness into this world together.”

There will be festivities and activities geared to all ages. We encourage everyone to come, participate, and celebrate. You will be receiving more information in the upcoming weeks about registration for the installation and other important logistics. We look forward to sharing this momentous occasion in WJC’s history together!

RSVP: installation@wjcenter.org or 914-698-2960

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