June 19, 2024 /

Rabbi Miller: Celebrating 50 Years in The Rabbinate and 50 Years at AEMT

Rabbi Miller: Celebrating 50 Years in The Rabbinate and 50 Years at AEMT


As our liturgy says,


בָּרוּךְ אַתָה יהוה אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הַעוֹלָם שֶהֶחֱיָנוּ וְקִיְמָנוּ וְהִגִיעָנוּ לַזְמַן הַזֶַה

Praised are you, Adonai, our God, Sovereign of the universe, for granting us life, for sustaining us, and for helping us to reach this moment


And what a moment this is. It’s been 50 years since Rabbi Bennett Miller was ordained from the Hebrew Union College—Jewish Institute of Religion. Since that moment, Rabbi Miller has been intrinsically linked to Anshe Emeth Memorial Temple, and this community could not be more thrilled about it.


I will never forget the overwhelming reaction I received when other rabbis would ask me what synagogue I would be at following ordination. When I told them I would be Rabbi Miller’s next Assistant Rabbi, the response was always something like: “You are so unbelievably lucky! When you get there, absorb every word that you’re taught, and if you can figure out how Rabbi Miller was able to keep Anshe Emeth not only alive but thriving in a city with barely any Jews, then you will unlock a secret that not many of us have figured out. You are going to be working with the rabbi’s rabbi. Enjoy every moment. And learn everything you can from him.”


I had no idea how valid those words were until I started settling into a community far more precious than I could have ever imagined, and it was all because of Rabbi Miller and the wisdom he brought to New Brunswick.


The Prophet Michah teaches us to do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God. Pirkei Avot teaches us to appoint for ourselves a teacher, acquire a friend and judge all with the scale weighed in their favor. When I think of what it means to be a rabbi, I not only think of these teachings, but I think of Rabbi Miller because I can think of no other rabbi who embodies these lessons like he does. Rabbi Miller, thank you not only for your mentorship, your guidance, and your inspiration but also thank you for our friendship.