11 January 2016
South Bucks Jewish Community (SBJC) held a special Shabbat service to say farewell (but decidedly not goodbye) to their rabbi of nine years – Rabbi Rachel Benjamin
The service was created and led by the current, and three retired, chairs the community, who also gave their own tributes and recollections.
The Torah reading, which was ably conducted from start to finish by her past bar/batmitzvah and Kabbalat Torah students, amply demonstrated Rabbi Rachel’s success in teaching.
The community’s Helen Cohen and Dick Vardy said: “Rachel, with her commitment, dedication and teaching, has been instrumental in developing SBJC into the vibrant, inclusive community that it is today.
“The majority of SBJC turned out to ensure Rabbi Rachel had a good, if very reluctant, send off and we were delighted that Simon Benscher, chair of Liberal Judaism, was able to be there too.
“The service finished in the traditional SBJC way with a big kiddush, an exchange of presents and some emotional individual ‘thank-yous’.
“Rabbi Rachel returned the compliments: to the community with heartfelt thanks for their unfailing support; and to her husband Harry Davies for the schlepping – and for being the rock that she always relied on.
“All wished her good luck in her new role at The Liberal Jewish Synagogue and filled a ‘memory book’ with personal comments and memories.”
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