(AJNews) – There will be a change at Beth Israel Synagogue soon as Rabbi Zolly Claman has announced his planned departure from Edmonton this summer.
In a February 24th letter to the congregation Rabbi Claman explained to the congregants
that he would be leaving. He wrote:
“To our dear friends, the entire Beth Israel family,
“Almost four years ago, we landed jetlagged and sun-tanned from Israel, toting 2 little girls, way too many duffle bags (you can ask the Vickars) and a refreshed excitement for what we knew was going to be a remarkable experience in a place that already felt like home. We were immediately embraced into a larger family, the most uniquely warm community we had ever experienced (weather aside). And now, with 2 big girls too heavy to carry and an Elisha to keep up with, we have come to a crossroad for our family.
“It is with a heavy heart, and sooner than we had hoped, that we want to inform each of you of our plans of moving during the summer of 2022. As we are sure that many of you may be curious to know “where to?”, that is still something we do not have clarity about just yet. Of course, we plan to be open and transparent as that develops.
“This is definitely not the time for goodbyes or anything like that. Due to the pandemic and not getting to see as many of you as we’d have liked to for a while already, we felt that this letter would stand in lieu of the many hard conversations we would have wanted to have in person, one on one with each of you.
“Even with this news, we want to emphasize that we are still here – emotionally and physically – to the best of our ability even with the recognition of these plans. And while our capacity of spiritual leaders in the Family Shul and Edmonton at large will be coming to an official close come the summer, this is not a role we ever took lightly and will shed upon leaving the city. The close relationships, friendships, and lifelong bonds we have formed in just these short years will continue with us where ever our journey brings us.
“Thankfully, as we have seen from the pandemic, the world can be a smaller place with technology and that is something that gives us comfort. That being said, technology does not replace people and us leaving the Edmonton community will be a very difficult move for us.
“At this time we want to thank each of you for your support, understanding, and friendship throughout this process our family will be undertaking. We are hoping that things snap back to something closer to ‘normal’ and we’ll be able to see each of you in person, very soon and often in the coming months.
“Sending our best wishes for a joyous and warm Adar.”
Rabbi Zolly and Penina Claman