Sarah Moosazadeh is a staff writer for the Atlanta Jewish Times.
Executive Director Rabbi Yitzchok Tendler presents a tribute to Shalom Teller for his service with presenter Rabbi Doron Silverman (right)
There comes a time when some things come to an end, but that’s part of life’s cycle, said Rabbi Yitzchok Tendler, executive director of Congregation Beth Jacob.
Tendler shared those words with 12 graduates at Temima‘s class of 2018 graduation ceremony on Thursday, June 14 at Congregation Beth Jacob.
Joel Marks, intermediate past chair of the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, commented on the support the Federation has provided in the last few years to the Temima Richard and Jean Katz High School for Girls.
Marks’ wife, Charlotte, served as a previous board member and volunteer for Temima and its students whom he has seen graduate over the last few years. “It’s tremendous to see the transformation of the girls before and after they enter Temima and to know that they are leaving as independent women. We look forward to watching you grow,” he said.
A few of the dozen graduates shared stories about the lessons and skills they learned during their four years. Class of 2018 graduate Shoshana Tress said that one of the teachings she is taking away with her is that happiness is not hard to find and already a part of people when they perform mitzvot.
Shira Kalnitz spoke about her fear of public speaking and how she was able to overcome it through Hashem’s help. “The gift of speech can be used in a powerful way, and the words we choose can be used to create a positive impact on the world.” Graduate Lani Lewis reflected on the community’s theme of unity and kindness during Hurricane Irma, which she said is a common thread not just in Toco Hills but in Temima’s class of 2018 graduates.
Tendler spoke about the graduates’ last four years at the school and urged them to never forget what they learned at Temima. “Always have goals for yourself, and even if you don’t at this moment, as long as you have one in sight you will always have a new beginning.”
Shalom Teller received a tribute for serving as a Temima board member the last five years and imparted three things for the graduates to keep in mind.
He encouraged them to always say “yes” to opportunities and take things one step at a time, to maintain their passion for Judaism, which their parents have taught them, and that they have responsibility to their community. “Wherever you go and whatever you do, you are a part of a community, and we are in this together.”