Presented Friday, March 23, 2012, at the Shabbat Service honoring Leira Satlof
Thank you, Rabbi, for those beautiful words about our beloved Leira. I think tonight along with our Kiddush wine we’d better pass out some Kleenex. A little word of advice: if you ever have to give a speech, don’t follow Rabbi George.
Before I say a few words about Leira…I’d like to acknowledge someone whose impact on our community has been almost as profound…and that’s Carl McGahan.
Most of you know Carl for his musicianship…his regular appearances in the band on our musical shabbats… but more memorably as the soloist who sings Kol Nidre on Erev Yom Kippur. Who among us hasn’t been moved…often to tears…by his soulful rendition of that sacred prayer. It gives you chills just to think about it.
But what you don’t see quite so publicly is the hundreds of hours per year Carl donates to our synagogue in the form of his skillful craftsmanship. Carl is truly the go-to guy for projects around the building, whether that’s hanging cabinets, patching walls or making repairs that would otherwise have cost us thousands.
As much as we’re here to recognize Leira for the gifts she has given to our community, none stands out more than the gift of her husband. Thanks, Leira, for sharing Carl with us.
On behalf of the Shomrei Torah board, I’d like to present Carl with this gift of appreciation for his generous, tireless service to our community. Carl…
And now, Leira. If ever you wondered about the difference you’ve made in the life of Shomrei Torah, just look around this room. But to really know what you mean to this community…look past the beaming faces and the teary eyes…and look into the hearts of those whom you have touched.
With your soaring, soulful voice. Your enveloping hugs. Your compassion and wisdom, you have lifted our hearts and given wings to our prayers.
Thanks in large part to you, our congregation has grown, both in size and reverence. Almost single-handedly you have given us the reputation as the musical shul…and it’s a moniker we wear proudly.
You have given us a choir…and boy, what a choir. That is a legacy that will long outlive your tenure here. You have given us the musical Shabbat…still our best attended services.
At various times you have guided our b’nai mitzvah program…assisted our rabbi…engineered our audio/visual equipment…catered our functions…and organized our events. You are as skilled with our musical liturgy as you are with a spatula or a bullhorn.
You’ve raised your own beautiful family in our midst…and helped raise our congregational family right along with them.
So it’s my great honor representing the congregation to present you with a token of our gratitude and affection. This tribute book contains messages of love and appreciation from members of our congregation. It serves as a permanent reminder of the way you have touched our lives.
Thanks to Sue Lewis, Nancy Ferrick, Marcia Gladstone, and Marcy Pluznick-Marrin for their work in creating it. And thanks to all of you for your heartfelt contributions to it.
Leira, from all of us in the Shomrei Torah family, accept this book along with our undying love and thanks… for all you have done for us…and all you mean to us. We wish you and your family the very best in your new lives up north.