The Installation of Rabbi Dan Ain

The Installation of Rabbi Dan Ain

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Shabbat, January 26, 2019, was a wonderful day in the history of Congregation Beth Sholom as we formally installed Rabbi Dan Ain and welcomed his family, Alana Joblin Ain, Autumn, and Samson. We are so happy that many of you were with us to celebrate!

The day began with a moving Shabbat service that not only recognized Rabbi Ain but also the diversity of Beth Sholom, featuring service and prayer leaders of all ages. The sanctuary was packed with congregants, special guests, and members of Rabbi Ain and Alana’s family who came to mark this special day.  We were fortunate to be joined by the distinguished Rabbi Rebecca Sirbu, who formally installed Rabbi Ain and offered the priestly blessing to the Ain family. It was heartwarming to hear the warmth and affection that imbued Rabbi Sirbu’s remarks, and there were more than a few moist eyes in the house when Rabbi Ain gave his address, comparing this installation to a wedding in which the congregation and Rabbi make a binding commitment to each other.

The kiddush following services was extra special thanks to the talented bakers in our congregation who prepared the challot, cookies, and a beautiful cake.

The hope, optimism and naches that filled the sanctuary in the morning continued during the sold-out evening gala. The atmosphere was electric as we we kicked off the night with a beautiful Havdalah service led by our Rabbinic Intern Amanda Russell, together with Beth Sholom Music Specialist, Jonathan Bayer. We were honored to be joined at Havdalah by State Senator Scott Weiner, who held the Havdalah candle, and San Francisco Supervisor Rafael Mandelman. We were also honored to host District 1 Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer, who presented Rabbi Ain with a proclamation to honor the day. In addition, numerous professionals and lay leaders from a broad spectrum of Jewish community organizations were in attendance. It was a night of great music, great food, and great community.

The primary goal of the evening was to welcome the Ains and celebrate as a congregation.  However, we’re thrilled to announce that the gala also raised nearly $90,000 for Beth Sholom!

There are many, many people to thank for the hard work that made this day possible.  First, we want to thank everyone who supported the Installation--from volunteers to major donors.  Our devoted and enthusiastic Installation Committee was a spectacular team: Jenny Bernstein, Stuart Blecher, Mitzi Dean, Sandy Edwards, Judy Leash, Naomi Lempert Lopez, Liz Noteware, Marcia Sohn, Gary Sokol, Debra Surkin-Perloff, and Sharon Weinberg. We are grateful, too, for the constant help and support of Beth Sholom’s President, Ben Chinn.

We also want to thank the bakers who provided the delectable challah, cookies, and cake for the Installation kiddush:  Debra Surkin Perloff, Maralyn Tabatsky, Ruth Jaffe, Betty Newman, Heddi Cundle, Susie Spiwak, Marsha Glantz, and Eva-Lynne Leibman. Thank you to the Ratner Family for sponsoring the kiddush in honor of Rabbi Ain’s Installation and Ellianah’s birthday.

We are lucky at Beth Sholom to have some exceptionally skilled congregants. Thank you to lifelong Beth Sholom-er Ben Lempert for his and his band’s musical stylings, and to photographer Sharon Goldstone for capturing the evening so beautifully.  Below are just a few photos that capture the magic of the gala. We will share more soon. We are also indebted to David Malman for his help with the lighting and to Christopher Reiger, who designed all of the Installation materials. Also to Allen Levy, David Madfes and Ken Merrylees, who assisted with all things related to the facility and audio/visual systems.

Last, but certainly not least, a special thanks to the amazing Beth Sholom staff who made this day, and every day, possible.

We are thrilled to welcome Rabbi Ain, Alana, Autumn, and Samson into our congregation and we look forward to celebrating together with you as a congregation for years to come.

-Ellen Ginsberg & Becky Buckwald

Installation Co-Chairs