Rabbi Tachman’s Rabbinic Vision (In his own words):
I strongly believe that of all the activities that a congregation engages in, one of our most important tasks is help both visitors and long-time members feel welcomed, included, cared for and valued. It is on account of Beth Tivkah’s reputation as a congregation that succeeds on these levels that I chose to apply for the rabbi position. Having joined the congregation in July of 2011, I am eager to continue to foster and promote the inclusive and friendly atmosphere of which BTC is already known and I am delighted and honored to be the newest part of the Beth Tikvah Congregational family.
As a rabbi, I am acutely aware that my success depends on my ability to forge sacred relationships of trust and caring. I truly enjoy interacting with people and for me, this is the most important and gratifying aspect of my work. I always strive to meet people where they are, to remember the stories shared with me, to be there when I am needed, and when the time is right, to just laugh with others. From the Bar Mitzvah student who showed me how well he knew his Torah portion by reading it to me upside-down, to the parents who place their trust in me when a crisis arises, I am so grateful for the opportunity to be present during significant moments of people’s lives.
Through my various Jewish experiences in high school and college I fell in love with sacred texts, Jewish community, God, prayer, rituals, music, ethics, social justice and Israel. (Please click here see my blog about “Why the Heck I Became a Rabbi”.)
I sincerely believe that Judaism has the power to transform our lives, our relationships and the world, and I am dedicated to fostering in others a passionate and meaningful connection to Jewish wisdom, tradition and faith. I love to learn and I love to teach and I am always thinking about the next sermon, the next story and the next creative way to convey a message. My teaching style incorporates both informal and formal approaches. For example, to teach the story of the crossing of the Sea of Reeds, I arranged to have preschoolers and their parents meet me at Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium where I dressed up like Moses. With a backdrop of fish swimming behind me, I pretended to run away from Pharaoh as all the kids excitedly followed at my heels! While studying with a group in a more formal setting, I strive to create lively lessons in which multiple perspectives are explored, everyone’s opinions are valued, and together we savor those “aha!” moments.
Ultimately I believe that Jewish wisdom, tradition and values are best learned when they inspire us to acts of loving kindness and social justice. With this in mind, after Hurricane Katrina struck, I organized one of the first Jewish congregational volunteer missions to New Orleans where we spent five days repairing a damaged house, meeting with residents and local leaders, and listening to stories. On the final night of our trip as we gathered together for a Havdalah ceremony, the trip participants reflected on their week with tears in their eyes. One participant told the group that never before had she felt so proud to be Jewish. Another said he would never forget how it felt to be hugged and thanked by the family with whom the group had grown so close while repairing their house. All pledged upon their return to increase their commitment to social action and to deepen their connection to the Temple community.
My rabbinic vision is to develop, in partnership with Temple clergy, staff, and lay leaders a congregation that is welcoming, inclusive, caring, intellectually stimulating and innovative. I strive to create lively learning opportunities for people of all ages, dynamic programming, inspiring worship experiences, and to provide compassionate pastoral care. My hope is that Temple community will be energized by sacred relationships, a passion for Jewish knowledge and the actualization of Jewish values through acts of loving kindness and social justice.