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welcome, Sammy Rosenbaum - rabbinic intern - Summer 2019

Dear Congregation Shearith Israel,

I am filled with excitement and gratitude for the opportunity to spend this summer with you and to learn, sing, pray, and work together. It is a special gift to be able to learn from Rabbi Kaiman and the leadership at Shearith Israel. I look forward to being back in Atlanta and meeting new people as well as reconnecting with the community that I dearly miss.

After finishing the past school year at the Ziegler School for Rabbinic Studies I am filled with Torah that I can’t wait to share with you during Shabbat services, Torah study gatherings, and other moments of connection we will share together this summer.

It is a minhag (custom) to study Mishna chapter Pirkei Avot (Ethics of our Fathers) during the counting of the Omer between Passover and Shavuot. In chapter 4, verse 5, it states:

“Rabbi Yishmael his son says: One who studies Torah in order to teach will be given the opportunity both to study and to teach. One who studies in order to practice will be given the opportunity to study, to teach, to observe, and to practice.”

This is a beautiful teaching about one’s intentions when studying Torah. It emphasizes the importance of practice. The word for practice in modern Hebrew is להתאמן (L’hit-amen). It is in the reflexive verbal form, teaching us that to practice is to say “amen” to oneself and to affirm over and over again that we are working to become better. The Mishna gives significance to practice and teaches that it provides opportunity to not only study and teach, but also to observe and to continue practicing. This summer may we have the blessing of studying Torah in order to practice, leading to expanded growth in our connections to each other, to ourselves, and to God.

B’Shalom,

Sammy Rosenbaum

About Sammy:

Currently based in Los Angeles, Sammy Rosenbaum is an award winning songwriter, musician, and community builder. In between concerts, artist-in-residencies, writing, and recording, Sammy is a student at the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies. He describes his music as Jewish Inspired Indie Funk. Sammy has released two records entitled "We Are The Ones" and "Lift" -songs for lifting the soul into Shabbat. Sammy has performed and taught his music in over 50 communities around the world. He has performed at SXSW, Treefort Music Festival, The Atlanta Jewish Music Festival, The March of the Living in Poland and more. Sammy has shared the stage with Peter Yarrow, David Broza, and Matisyahu. In 2012 he filmed a documentary series called "Rock Shabbat" which interviewed 85 Jewish musicians from around the country and explored the current state of American Jewish music.

Before moving to Los Angeles to start school he lived in Atlanta, Ga. While there, Sammy found his passion in music as a way to build Jewish community. He co-founded The Well, a musical Shabbat community comprised of over 400 active young professionals. Sammy composed original music for The Well and helped to curate a community built around prayer and meaning. Sammy helped to start, and was a resident in, Moishe House-Virginia Highlands, where he continued his work to build strong Jewish community for Atlanta's young adult Jewish population. Sammy sat on the board of the Atlanta Jewish Music Festival for three years and helped to bring fresh and inspiring Jewish musical performances to the Atlanta area.

Sammy currently is working on his third record. It is an exploration of obscure Jewish text through song. His studies in school and learning with incredible teachers greatly influences his music. He hopes to continue to bring his music to people with the goal of deepening spiritual and communal connection.

Contact Sammy at rabbinicintern@shearithisrael.com.

Thu, August 22 2019 21 Av 5779