Message from our President

Welcome to the Year 5782

Hello, friends, neighbors, and all Beth Boruk family members,


It’s time to push the “reset” button.


Reflecting on the past year and a half so many things have been askew and unfamiliar.  Among those things have been:


  • the ability to be in the presence of our friend and family members due to the transmission of the COVID-19 virus

  •  the marking of time in a typical fashion

  • the freedom to come and go as we please without concern for the physical welfare of others around us


What has enhanced our lives has been:


  • technology that has allowed us to join together for services

  • a student rabbi that has drawn us together with technology in this way

  • the ability to see and hear each other over ZOOM as we were at home


Entering this new year reveals promise.  The promises include:


  • return to in-person services with our temple family and friends

  • the ability to meet our student rabbi, Randall Burke and his family in person

  • the promise of further gatherings with celebrations of joy and tradition


As always, I wish everyone a year of health, success, and happiness.

May JOY return and HAPPINESS increase.


Lawrence Simkin

President, Richmond Jewish Congregation

Our Student Rabbi Rand Burke


B’ruchim Habaim and Welcome!


I am honored and very excited to be returning to Richmond for another year to serve Beth Boruk as your student rabbi, and this year, in person! Although we have met virtually through services and holidays, it will be a blessing to be able to gather in-person to pray and learn together. During the height of the pandemic, my rabbi and I were discussing the importance of togetherness in the Jewish community and he taught that Judaism is built on hugs and handshakes. Although we may not be ready for hugs and handshakes, the sentiment of togetherness echoes through our ritual, cultural, and liturgical tradition as we often sing on Shabbat hine mah tov, how good it is that we dwell together. This year, those words carry even more weight as we understand the importance of the blessing of being together. 

In the coming weeks, before we gather to observe the High Holy Days, I welcome a period of reflection. Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur fall during the Hebrew month of Elul, and Jewish tradition teaches that this time should be one of self-reflection and deep thought about our journey throughout the past year. One of the central themes of Rosh Hashanah and the High Holy Days is introspection. The ability to reflect on ourselves and our experiences and identify how we can learn and grow as Jews. For many, if not all, of us, we spent the last High Holy Days in front of a computer screen streaming services with those in our household. This year, we will be joined by our entire holy community as we lift up our prayers together. In the coming weeks and as we enter into the month of Elul, I welcome thoughts, reflections, and profound gratitude for our return to services in person surrounded by our community. I am looking forward to once more joining your community for the High Holy Days and the coming year to serve your spiritual and religious needs, and I am eager to study, pray, and grow together.




Rand Burke