Message from our President
Welcome to the Year 5780
5780 promises to be another year of experiencing community at Beth Boruk. Our presence in the Richmond community is long-standing and an integral part of this town. The Richmond community has undergone many changes during the past couple of years. Our Jewish community has grown as well. We have had many social, religious, and spiritual times together as we progressed through the Jewish calendar. In addition we have served the greater Richmond community in many ways.
Last November we were invited to participate in an interfaith Thanksgiving service prior to Thanksgiving. Robin Henry represented our community in a significant way, sharing some of the prayers of our tradition and providing explanation of Jewish heritage. Listening to others there that day was a powerful experience. Hopefully more of us can take part in such a sharing in the future.
Starting a new year is always a time to search for new meaning, reflect on times of the past, and make plans for the future. Such is the case with the year 5780 before us. Let us continue to grow and participate together. We have a treasure here in east central Indiana that we need to preserve and renew.
Lawrence M. Simkin
President, Beth Boruk Temple Board of Directors
Our Student Rabbi Rand Burke
I want to take a short moment to introduce myself as your student rabbi for the 2020-2021 academic year. My name is Rand Burke, and I am a fourth-year rabbinical student at HUC-JIR. I’m originally from Arizona, and I attended Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University (Go Devils!) where I earned my BS in History and Jewish Studies and a certificate in Hebrew Studies. After college, I received an officer’s commission in the U.S. Navy as a Chaplain Candidate Program Officer (CCPO) before moving to Israel to begin my rabbinical school studies in Jerusalem. There, I met my fiance, Anna, and we moved to Cincinnati to continue our rabbinic studies.
Before coming to Beth Boruk, I served as the student rabbi of Temple Shalom and Temple Gates of Prayer in Lafayette and New Iberia, Louisiana, respectively. I enjoyed my time in the South as the self-proclaimed “Student Rabbi of Acadiana,” and I am eager to begin learning and praying with you in Richmond. I have a passion for history and Jewish texts and I love learning new things and inspiring others to do the same. I am eager and excited to meet all of you and learn about the culture and traditions that Beth Boruk shares. I am blessed and thankful that you are welcoming me into your holy community.
In a few short weeks, we will be observing Rosh Hashanah together. 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. Although this year will mark a very different High Holy Day observance, our responsibility for self-reflection is even more important. Despite the challenges we face, it is incumbent on us as Jews to persevere and look inward during these holy days. I am looking forward to 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.