Rabbi Garry A. Loeb celebrates the 25th anniversary of his joining Monroe Temple

| 22 Feb 2012 | 03:51

During the months leading up to the gala weekend celebration of the 25th anniversary of Rabbi Garry A. Loeb’s charismatic and dedicated spiritual leadership of the Monroe Temple of Liberal Judaism, a remarkable phenomenon became apparent: A flood of congregational volunteers offering their time, resources and skills seemed to emerge from the membership when the date of the event was announced. This outpouring of desire to demonstrate their love, respect and admiration of a rabbi who had been so supportive and involved in their lives for so long was in itself a testament to his 25 year journey with them. At the special Sabbath evening service (Oneg) in the rabbi’s honor on Friday, Nov. 12, the younger members of our congregation and their parents honored Rabbi Loeb with song and gifts and a great feast of cakes and cookies. On that Saturday at the usual Sabbath morning service, also honoring Rabbi Loeb, the Temple adult and youth choir, under the superb direction of Cantor Elena Schwartz, treated the congregation to beautiful, soaring hymns and songs. This service was followed by a tea and luncheon sponsored by the Temple Sisterhood/WRJ. Capping off this unanimous expression of love and warmth, on Saturday evening, some 268 members and friends attended a gourmet/buffet dinner dance at the Temple. Many congregants participated in hilarious skits (at the rabbi’s good natured expense) and the entire community recognized that this event had been a special, joyful and indelible experience in their lives. The next morning, the Men’s Action Club sponsored and provided a delectable “home cooked” brunch open to all. The temple’s religious school and Mensch Makers pre-school made presentations, including songs and gifts for the rabbi (including a rabbinical puppet). And the Temple Youth Group entertained those assembled with a great sock-puppet show (again at the rabbi’s good natured expense), ending the weekend’s glorious events and leaving those attending with an almost visible, wondrous and uplifting glow. Dr. Joseph Birnbaum of Monroe contributed this piece.