August 22, 2014   26 Av 5774

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7 Haggetts Pond Road Andover, MA 01810
Main Office: 978.470.1356
School Offices: 978.470.1563
From the Rabbi's Desk  

Rabbi Main Photo

I believe in the institution of the synagogue, not just for what it has contributed to our past and all that it does in our present, but for what it means to our future.  As our society becomes more and more fragmented, I think a religious community has an even greater role to play in improving the quality of our lives and the lives of our children, whether they are preschoolers or have children of their own.

It starts early, with toddlers dancing in the aisles at our Sunday morning services.  Barely a week goes by when our bar/bat mitzvah boys and girls do not acknowledge the important role of the religious school in their training.  Every spring at our tenth grade Confirmation service, I am touched by the warm sentiments expressed by our students about the friends they have made over the years and the bonds they have established with their teachers and rabbi.

Then each year at our High Holy Day services, I love to see the many young adults who come home to be with their parents and worship in a synagogue that is familiar to them.  I officiated at their bar/bat mitzvahs, stood with many of them under the chuppah, and I have had the honor of naming many of their children.  I see the delight in their eyes as they return to a place with so many warm memories, in the very sanctuary where they have celebrated some of the most important milestones in their lives.

We can have deep and meaningful relationships with people in country clubs, bowling leagues and fraternities, but the
synagogue is unique.  It is a place like no other, where our fellow congregants understand what it means to embrace traditions, create lasting memories, and laugh and cry together during times of joy and sorrow.

One can live without the Temple, but our lives are richer, our relationships deeper and the values we model for our children clearer when we are part of a Jewish community.

Temple Emanuel boasts an excellent school, pleasant services, a host of educational, cultural and religious programs, and wonderful people who help transform a group of Jews and their families into a synagogue—a sacred community—unlike any other.  It is a community we should all be proud to call our own.

 Rabbi Robert Goldstein


Biography of Rabbi Robert S. Goldstein  

Rabbi Dr. Robert Goldstein was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. He graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1975 and was ordained a Rabbi in 1981 at the Hebrew Union College/Jewish Institute of Religion in New York City.  In 1988, Rabbi Goldstein earned a Doctor of Ministry at Andover Newton Theological School in Newton Centre, Massachusetts. His doctoral thesis was entitled, “Life Cycle.Life Crisis: Religious Orgins and Psychological Implications of Three Rites of Passage.”
At the core of Rabbi Goldstein's ministry is his attempt to help families and individuals find greater understanding and meaning in the milestone rituals of their lives. By making Jewish ritual accessible through creative adult education, he believes that many more people will discover the relevance of the Jewish path of life.
Throughout his ministry Rabbi Goldstein has sought to bring creativity and vitality to the communities from within and always to serve the emotional and religious needs of his community. This requires a commitment to work beyond the Jewish community, working with others in the broader community to create coalition which attempt to resolve some of the expansive challenges which face our society. With representatives of the Catholic and Protestant communities he continues to participate in an ongoing direct dialogue. In 2001, he was the recipient of the Tikkun Olam Award, and in June 2003 the Rabbi received an honorary doctorate from Merrimack College.

Rabbi Goldstein lives in Andover, Massachusetts with his wife Faith, an elementary school teacher. They have three daughters.

2013 High Holy Day Sermons  

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