The Jonathan Miller years. I’m sure glad that I was around for them.
For 27 years, this outstanding rabbi and wonderful and caring man has not only enriched the lives of his congregants at Temple Emanu-El and our Jewish community, but he has made an extraordinary impact on people of all faiths and backgrounds throughout the state of Alabama. On Friday, June 30th, Rabbi Miller will conduct his last Friday night Sabbath service as Temple Emanu-El’s rabbi. As the service concludes, no doubt reaching a crescendo with the closing prayers, a man of greatness will exit from the sanctuary.
Everyday of his 27 year tenure, Rabbi Miller, through his preaching, teaching and writing skills, has devoted himself to two sacred tasks: Strengthening Jewish life locally and globally, and making life in Birmingham better for all of its citizens. He has been a bridge-builder, trouble-shooter, ambassador, passionate advocate for Israel and the well-being of Jews everywhere, an innovator, a risk-taker, and a beacon of leadership and spirituality for all of Birmingham.
As a Temple Emanu-El congregant, I have been inspired by his public leadership; as a professional colleague, I have been guided by his judgment and wisdom. On behalf of the Birmingham Jewish Federation, I thank Rabbi Miller for his nearly three decades of service. The BJF wishes him, his wife Judi and their beautiful family much happiness as he enters this next stage of his life. As I think about my friend and rabbi, the things I admire most in Jonathan Miller are his kindness, compassion and open-heartedness toward others. To have sustained these attributes over the decades, and to never have wavered in his idealism, are the things about him that I love the best.
And always will.
Birmingham Jewish Foundation Executive Director
Richard and I so appreciate all you have done for the Jewish community, Israel and us, personally. As lovers of Israel, we are so proud that our Rabbi has been among the most supportive in the country of Israel. You have always spoken up and spoken out for the interests of our local Jewish community and Jews around the world. Your articulate and passionate voice has made us kvell!
On a personal level, we will be forever grateful for the warmth and care you have shown our family. Your impact on all the Friedmans has been tremendous.
Your love of our congregation was evident every time you stepped on the Bimah. You wear your heart on your sleeve and that is a very good thing. The Friedman family wishes you well in this next chapter of your life, but we will miss terribly. You can retire professionally, but we won’t let you retire from your place in our hearts!
~ Sally Friedman