By AJNews staff
(AJNews) – As one door closes, another one opens and that is certainly the case at Edmonton’s Beth Israel Congregation this month. August 14 was Rabbi Zolly Claman’s last Shabbat in Edmonton, and an announcement was recently made that Rabbi Guy Tal has been hired as Beth Israel’s new spiritual leader.
On behalf of the congregation Beth Israel President Shane Asbell bid the Claman family farewell and wished them safe travels as they start a new chapter of their lives with the Congregation Tifereth Beth David Jerusalem in Montreal.
“We will miss Rabbi Zolly, Rebbetzin Penina, Adina, Chaya, and little Elisha dearly,” wrote Asbell. “The Claman’s have made a deep impact at Beth Israel and in the greater Jewish Community. From a congregational perspective we will miss Rabbi Claman’s wonderful, insightful, and inspirational Shabbat morning drashot, his informative shirium, and his personable and positive personality.”
“Rabbi Claman your easy and winning smile can light up a person and even a full room of people,” continued Asbell. “Personally like for many of you, Rabbi Claman has become a good friend and confidant. Rabbi Claman was instrumental in establishing AJP@TT, Ancillary Judaic Program at Talmud Torah, and was one of its teachers in its inaugural year in 2021-2022.
“From the Asbell family, and from the entire congregation at BI, The Family Shul, we wish you, Penina, and your children good health, much success, joy, and prosperity in Montreal.”
Rabbi Claman said goodbye to the community at a special Barbecue held in his honour at Westridge Park on August 14.
He expressed his feelings about the congregation in a message last month. He wrote, “Penina and I are deeply grateful for the friendships forged throughout our 4 years in this special community. Since 2018, our time here in Edmonton has been deeply fulfilling and meaningful. We are sad to be leaving but are really excited about the opportunities that await us.
Edmonton has been such an ideal place to raise Adina and Chaya and to welcome Elisha into this world and into toddlerhood – which at this point he has absolutely mastered. We will forever cherish the lessons learned and the friendships formed.”
“I am indebted to the shul leadership and the entire membership for their support and for their trust in me,” continued Rabbi Claman.
“One emotion that has definitely been the strongest out of the bag of mixed emotions is that of gratitude. We feel blessed to have been a part of the community and know that we have made so many lifelong friendships while we were here.
“I hope and pray that Hashem will shower the Edmonton Jewish community with blessings in all realms.”
Meanwhile, President Asbell also announced that Rabbi Guy Tal will be joining the Beth Israel family as spiritual leader in September.
Rabbi Tal is an Israeli born, raised and trained Rabbi. He studied at Yeshivat Hesder Dimona and Yeshivat Gvoah Har Hamor and received his Rabbinic Ordination from the Chief Rabbinate of Israel. He served in the IDF’s Golani Brigade.
Rabbi Tal has a BA in Education (Bible and Oral Law) from Michlala in Jerusalem, a MA in Jewish Studies from Hebrew University (Mexico City campus) and will soon be defending his PhD Thesis in “History of Ideas” from the Pan American University in Mexico City.
He has extensive Rabbinic and teaching experience having led congregations and taught in schools in Caracas Venezuela, Mexico City, Mexico, and in Athens, Greece. Rabbi Tal is married to Fentaye, a nurse, and has seven beautiful children.
To the entire Tal family – welcome to Edmonton!