Home » Connecticut home » Saying Goodbye to Our Home After 21 Years

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.

8 thoughts on “Saying Goodbye to Our Home After 21 Years

  1. It’s fitting that everything is coming together for you and Vickie–North in the summer, South in the winter, and the whole world in between. You have friends everywhere and are able to share your knowledge as well as your experiences with them. Enjoy it all!

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  2. Leaving a home you have been in for many years is always traumatic–no matter how much you want to make the move. I think I understand some of those feelings having sold my home in NJ after 37 years in our neighborhood. I love my Sanibel community, but also treasure the times that I go back and visit with my old friends, We are so lucky to have you with us in Sanibel..

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  3. Stephen, as you told me last fall when my dad sold our family home of 45 years, the memories of your home and all the good times you shared there will be with you in your heart always. Onward to new adventures!

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  4. Thank you so much, Debbie. It’s a next big chapter to be sure, but first I have to get by the hurdle of shoulder surgery on Thursday.
    I hope you and Leo will be in contact. I know it would mean a lot to him.
    And … you certainly inspire me, too.

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