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DereenLynnMurray.pdf

  1. 1. Rabbi’s Message Rabbi Jonathan Lubliner The rich texture of life at the Jacksonville Jewish Center is due in no small measure to the efforts of its staff. With considerable devotion, they give of themselves above and beyond the call of duty. Often they have chosen to forego the opportunity to pursue more remunerative careers because of their love of this synagogue, its people, or the values it strives to embody. Daily, I am humbled by and grateful for their commitment. To describe them only as employees and nothing else would be akin to defining an artistic masterpiece as no more than a compendium of shades and pigments – technically accurate, yet woefully inadequate. In recognition of this truth, it is incumbent upon me to thank an individual who has labored lovingly on our behalf for nearly a dozen years. As many of you know, in a few short weeks my assistant, Dereen Lynn Murray, will leave us for a new life with her family in South Florida. I write these words knowing full well that Dereen does not particularly care for the spotlight, and is generally embarrassed by public praise. Yet I believe she will forgive me – if only because she knows in honoring her, I also pay homage to all the members of the Jacksonville Jewish Center’s staff, the co-workers she deeply respects and cares about. From her days as Rabbi Gaffney’s assistant, Dereen’s caring menschlichkeit has made a palpable difference in Center life. More than an assistant, she is a one-woman Mitzvah Committee, an advocate for those in need, a friend to the lonely or ill. Dereen truly cares about people, always taking the time to get to know them and their families, as well as the ups and downs of their lives. Performing acts of gemilut hasadim, loving-kindness, was never a part of the job description she received a dozen years ago; fortunately for us, it has been an integral part of who she is and what she has nurtured in our community for the past eleven years. On a personal note, Dereen has been a supportive friend and a person whose wise counsel has been invaluable to me on countless occasions. I will miss her greatly, but know that her decision serves the best interest of her family. In the coming weeks, I encourage you to stop by the office or call Dereen to wish her well. After all, we’re not just saying goodbye to a synagogue employee, but bidding farewell to a member of the family. May Dereen, Martin, Julian and Lindsay be blessed with health and happiness in their new community for many years to come. B’shalom, Rabbi Jonathan Lubliner The Center of Your Life for Over 100 Years This morning service, September 1st includes an honor to Dereen Murray, Rabbi Lubliner's Executive Assistant, to bid her farewell and to express our appreciation for her twelve years of service to our community, and extend this special word from Rabbi Emeritus, David Gaffney, New York: Dear Dereen, Saying goodbye is hard. It is for me. It is for everyone at the Center …and I am sure, it is for you. Although we have not “worked” together for some six years, you have continued to be, as always, a “Rock of Gibraltar”, informing me about the well-being of our beloved “Center family” and alerting me to situations when words of comfort, or condolence, was warranted. Your life has intersected with the lived of so many over the years, newborns to seniors; intertwined with the joys and sorrows of thousands. You were always sensitive and thoughtful to the human needs of everyone. You are a rare spiritual person, “g’milat chesed” – acts of loving-kindness come to you naturally. You were often there – not only to assist clergy – you became clergy – holding hands, being attentive to everyone, and involving yourself, always with sincerity, in the lives of all. There was always efficiency, organization and productivity where work habits were involved. But beyond – you always exercised initiative. You were a “problem solver”. The rabbinic phrase “mey-vin davar mi’toch davar” – which means the exercise of discernment – an understanding of the implications of things could be applied to you. You were my “right hand” as I am sure you were to Rabbis Grundfast, Lubliner and Weiner. For myself – a person with a penchant for chaos – you provided order. For a person easily distracted – you provided focus. The many skills you brought to bear on an always-hectic setting were exemplary. Your tactfulness on the phone; your ability to make sure that everyone was treated with dignity and respect was one of a kind. Warm and sensitive, you are a person that radiates cheer, sweetness and pleasantness. It was wonderful coming into the office and finding you there. You created a wonderful atmosphere we all appreciated. Your attentive concern was a blessing …the word “mensch” could not be more appropriately applied. I will miss you …the Center will miss you …but I hope we stay in touch. Continue to enjoy life with Martin, Lindsay and Julian – and thank you for everything. Every blessing of health and happiness to all of you and wishes for a “Shanah Tovah”. With deep affection, Rabbi David Gaffney September 1, 2007 Dedicated Service

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