By Amy Unger
What a spectacular and special evening it was!!
On Nov. 17, Congregation Or Atid held a celebratory event to officially welcome Rabbi Sherry Grinsteiner and her husband, Leo, to our congregation.
Rabbi Grinsteiner became Or Atid’s spiritual leader on July 1, 2022, upon serving as a Rabbi and Director of Lifelong Learning at the Hebrew Educational Alliance in Denver, Colorado
(In the feature photo of the Installation of Rabbi Grinsteiner at the top of the article are Leslie Archer and Rabbi Bruce Dollin)
After a lively cocktail hour with noshes and schmoozing, the installation program commenced. Greg Samuels, who served as Master of Ceremonies for the evening, first introduced, Leslie Archer, the President of Congregation Or Atid. Leslie gave a warm address to all who were in attendance to formally welcome Rabbi Grinsteiner.
Presentations were then made by Rabbi Steven Silvern (above) and (below) Rabbi Leila Gal Berner, distinguished guests, who are mentors and colleagues of Rabbi Grinsteiner’s.
Rabbi Steven Silvern, served as the Rabbi for Beth Shalom, in Auburn, Alabama for 13 years and as the Associate Dean for the ALEP Ordination program in 2021 as the Associate Dean. Rabbi Leila Gal Berner, PhD. is a distinguished scholar and currently serves as the Department Chair of Tanach and History in the Aleph Ordination Program.
Rabbi Silvern spoke about how Rabbi Grinsteiner, a former student of his, was highly intelligent (“the smartest” of all his students), thoughtful, kind, and destined for success. He expressed how he had learned so much more from her than he was able to ever teach her. Throughout the years Rabbi Grinsteiner has made a very significant impact on his life. He further related his deep admiration and respect for her and that our congregation is so very fortunate to have her as our Rabbi.
Rabbi Berner then spoke about how Rabbi Grinsteiner had profound intellect and that over the years she developed a deep admiration, respect, and love for her. She shared that Rabbi Grinsteiner was a serious student but also had a dry sense of humor. She also related how Rabbi Grinsteiner possesses the key attributes to being a great Rabbi, which are a profound love of g-d, a love of Judaism, and a love of the Jewish people.
The installation address was then delivered by the esteemed Rabbi Bruce Dollin. Rabbi Dollin is a Rabbi Emeritus of the Congregation Hebrew Educational Alliance in Denver Colorado where he served as the Senior Rabbi from 1994 until his retirement in August of 2022.
Rabbi Dollin shared that he has known Rabbi Grinsteiner for many years, both on a personal and professional level in the Jewish community in Denver. He expressed how Rabbi Grinsteiner has a deep knowledge of Jewish law, text, and teachings and has a profound love of Judaism.
After President Leslie Archer and Rabbi Dollin recited beautiful prayers to install Rabbi Grinsteiner, it was followed by her expressing how she was truly overwhelmed and humbled by the celebration. She related her appreciation for being selected as our Rabbi and indicated one of the main reasons she accepted the position, was that our congregation felt like a “family”. Rabbi Grinsteiner shared her personal, spiritual, and professional journey which had humble beginnings in a religious Yemenite family in Israel to her current position as our Rabbi.
The formal installation part of the evening was followed by a catered dinner where we had an opportunity to share a delicious meal as we continued to enjoy this joyous occasion. We were also delighted to welcome many congregants from her previous synagogue in Denver.
Rabbi Grinsteiner was also presented with several gifts from the congregation to mark this occasion, including the installation program which contained heartfelt messages from our congregants along with some from her Denver family.
We would especially like to thank and recognize the following members of the planning committee, led by Geri Samuels, for making this a truly memorable event:
Leslie Archer, Sue Geller, Lynn Landesman, Sandra Levin, Geri Samuels (Chair), Stacye Samuels
This heartwarming celebration evoked sentiments of how fortunate we are to have Rabbi Grinsteiner as the spiritual leader of Congregation Or Atid. From the time she arrived, she began infusing our congregation with her boundless energy, enthusiasm, and unwavering love for Judaism. She is truly our “light of the future”, and we are so very lucky to have her as our spiritual leader.