Dear Friends at Beit Emanuel,
On this Shabbat it will be six months since I boarded a plane to return to England after almost six years as Rabbi of your wonderful community. I have yet to settle into a new home in the UK: my flat buying was delayed by complex legal matters, though I hope soon to complete the purchase, move in and then start working again.
I think about the members of Beit Emanuel often. I knew that it would be the people I would miss the most. I hope that all is going well for you, I hear nothing but positive reports.
It is the time of year when you will appoint the Mancom for the coming year. I hope that you find an enthusiastic group of volunteers to do this valuable work and I wish the new Mancom every success in their work.
On Sunday 2 March I will be 60. This is usually seen as one of those landmark birthdays. I am sorry that this year I won’t be able to share the celebration with you. My birthdays at BE were always made special by your goodwill and many kindnesses.
I treasure many wonderful memories of my time at Beit Emanuel and I look forward to making more good memories when I visit you in the future. If all goes well, I would like to visit South Africa in December this year or, if not, certainly next year.
Finally, I would like to send best wishes to my dear colleague Rabbi Sa’ar. I hope that you and your family are enjoying life in South Africa and I wish you every success as part of the Beit Emanuel family.
With kind regards and good wishes to everyone for a happy 2014,
Rabbi Robert Ash