Saying Goodbye to Our Home After 21 Years

We are no longer Connecticut homeowners. Today we closed on the sale of our beloved West Hartford, Connecticut home.

Last year I accepted an offer to serve as the seasonal (September through April) rabbi of Bat Yam Temple of the Islands in Sanibel, Florida. We moved in immediately after people could return to the Island after Hurricane Irma. We held the Selichot service and discussion that precedes Rosh Hashanah in the home we rented that very evening.

Vickie found the place on a trip last spring, and I moved in sight unseen. The minute I looked around and sat down, I said, “I could live here forever.” Because the Temple community, our neighbors and the friends we made at Beachview Tennis Club have been so welcoming to Vickie and me, we decided to purchase the home we rented and sell our home here. Fast forward to today.

Our Florida home is little more than half the size of our home in Connecticut. So the move involves a major downsize. After all the emotional angst about leaving our home, and all the physical angst of clearing 21 years of accumulated clothes, books, appliances and everything else imaginable from our CT home, we are Florida homeowners.

This morning Vickie and I took a long last look as we walked through the home we have loved. We will miss our quiet cul-de sac-neighborhood. We will miss the charming stream that flows behind the house, and we will miss all our friends at Congregation Beth Israel, and the friends we have made outside the synagogue as well.

All credit goes to Vickie who did 90% of the work involved in getting us to this point.

Currently we are camped out in the lovely home of our son, Ben, his wife, Kristin and their children, 4-year-old Flora and 1-year-old Logan. The kids are treasures, and we love being together.

Since my contract in Sanibel runs from September to April 30, we hope to spend considerable time in the warm weather months here in Connecticut. This coming Sabbath Eve (at 7:30) I will speak at Beth Israel about our experiences during the five weeks we spent in Germany this spring, and I will lead Torah study on Shabbat morning this Shabbat, next Shabbat and August 4.

Even though I am away most of the year, I consider being Rabbi Emeritus of Congregation Beth Israel to be both an honor and a responsibility to help out there whenever I can. I am glad to be able to give our wonderful rabbis, Michael Pincus and Andi Fliegel, a little relief.

When I decided to retire as Senior Rabbi of Congregation Beth Israel in 2011, I had no idea of the world wide adventures that awaited me. The past seven years have been like a dream. Serving Bat Yam Temple of the Islands in Sanibel has been icing on the cake. I feel very blessed, and I only hope my efforts are a blessing to others as well.

President Trump: Donate Mar-a-Lago As a Refugee Center

It would not completely solve the problem of refugees, but what a magnificent symbolic gesture it would be!

Mar A Lago is a 20-acre estate with a 126-room, 62,500-square-foot mansion. It would make a great center for welcoming refugees to our great country and helping them adjust to their new home.

There they could receive nutritious food, decent clothing, and quality medical care. A cash donation from the President would enable these services

While they are at Mar-a-Lago, officials could carefully vet the refugee residents. All of those found to be drug dealers or other types of miscreants could be sent home.

 What a game changer such a donation would be for Donald Trump! In one masterstroke he could change his image from venal to venerable. He could become the president with a heart of grandeur instead of greed. It would gain him millions of votes in the 2020 election.

Who knows how many future doctors, social workers, teachers, scientists, musicians and others contributing to the greatness of society would look back with gratitude at the chance for a better life they received at Mar A Lago?

Mr. Trump, you can always buy another place for your vacations. And Camp David is already at your disposal. There’s no reason to delay.

So, make the gift! You can save many lives and take a big step in fulfilling your promise to “Make America great again!”