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Rabbi Aft's last Shabbat Service at Adat Reyim and handoff to Rabbi Glazer

           HONORING RABBI BRUCE AND SUE AFT                     Special Recognition from the Washington Jewish Week 

     The Washington Jewish Week did a cover story on Rabbi Aft on his retirement.   
     "For Rabbi  Bruce Aft, a whole new ball game."  Read it HERE


Watch the June 7th Congregational Tribute 

Special thanks from our teens


On June 16th, the teens of Adat Reyim  had a special program for Rabbi Aft and Sue for their dedication to the program through the years.  Knowing that the White Sox are Rabbi Aft’s favorite, the teens wanted to give him something special for his retirement.  A couple of the teens asked him who is all time favorite players were.  Since Gary Peters  was mentioned several times, we did some research and were able to find a signed jersey to give to Rabbi Aft.  We also wanted to give something special to Mrs. Aft.  Knowing that she loves  to bake, we gave her a Cook book called the modern Jewish baker.  We gave her an embroidered cook book cover with her name and a special apron also embroidered from Adat Reyim teens.  The teen group is very appreciative to the Aft’s for their dedication to Congregation Adat Reyim.

Special Gift from the Preschool


On Friday, May 22, Adat Reyim Preschool "Zoom-hosted" a final Shabbat to recognize Rabbi Aft's 30 years of service, as well as Sue Aft and Susan Bigman's creation of the preschool 25 years ago. As a farewell gift and thank you to Rabbi Aft, the preschool presented him with a special Torah scroll. Each child and teacher marked their fingerprint on the scroll. The fingerprints were then turned into a parade of animals. This artistic collaboration acknowledges and honors Rabbi Aft's contributions to the preschool, including many memorable First Friday Shabbats.

A New Tree in Honor of the Afts

On June 8, 2020,  the Social Action Committee dedicated a tree at the front of our building in honor of Rabbi Bruce and Sue Aft and all their years of support for social action causes.

Due to social distancing guidelines, only 10 people could attend, but we hope that all will be able to come to the grounds soon to see the beautiful native American redbud.

Many thanks to Jeanne Kadet for her leadership in this project and special attention to environmental issues.

Here is the text of the presentation:

On the occasion of your retirement, the Social Action Committee wanted to join the various efforts of our synagogue members to thank and congratulate you and Sue. We are grateful for the support you have given to our committee and its actions over the years. When we discussed how to best show our appreciation, we easily came to the decision to plant a tree in your honor. Trees mean a lot to many of us on the committee because of their role in maintaining the health of our environment.

We picked this particular tree, a native American Redbud, for its beauty and its value to our environment. Its dramatic display of rosy pink flowers in April mark the arrival of Spring. Its leaves are heart shaped, so what could be more symbolic of our feelings towards you. But there’s more. Its blossoms attract pollinating insects, birds eat the seeds from the seed pods that follow the flowers, and it provides nesting sites and shelter for birds and mammals.

We also thought you two, Rabbi and Sue, would appreciate that we chose the planting of a tree to acknowledge and honor your support of our Social Action Committee over the years. Why?

First of all, there are many Jewish religious connections to trees. Here are some of them that we looked up:

• A tree stood at the very center of the first human moral dilemma, when Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge.

• Metaphorically, the tree has been used as a symbol of Torah. Jewish texts refer to the Torah as a tree of infinite knowledge, producing the fruits of new teachings and students over the generations.

• Tu Bishvat is the holiday celebrating trees and our connection to nature and responsibility for stewardship of our planet.

We also thought that planting a tree in your honor will be personally meaningful. Why? Since at least a couple of us have read your weekly emails, we remembered how you wrote last year about visiting the tree that had been planted in honor of a birthday of Sue’s mother. You wrote that many people had felt the impact of planting that tree.

Finally, symbolically, the growth of the tree we are dedicating today will be a reminder of the growth of our synagogue that you helped nurture. As is written on the plaque we are placing here, “This tree is planted in appreciation of Rabbi Bruce and Sue Aft for their years nurturing our growth at Congregation Adat Reyim.”

Note that the plaque is dated, April 2020, which we had planned as the tree dedication date to coincide with Earth Day. But alas, events happened beyond any of our control. So here we are today, two months later, wearing masks and standing apart—but still together-- to wish you and Sue all the best on your retirement and say Thank You for all you do.

Thank you, Rabbi Bruce and Sue

Thu, February 25 2021 13 Adar 5781