Andrew Paley celebrates 25 years in the rabbinate
Photo: Temple Shalom
To celebrate his 25th year in the rabbinate, HUC-JIR conferred an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree on Rabbi Andrew Paley of Temple Shalom.

May 22 marked a milestone in Rabbi Andrew Paley’s life, his 25th year in the rabbinate and the conferring of an honorary Doctor of Divinity from Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion for 25 years of distinguished service. Temple Shalom members wanted to celebrate this joyous occasion with a special Oneg and service, but could not during the pandemic. To commemorate this milestone for Rabbi Paley, a surprise video message was created and shared with the entire congregation during a virtual Oneg Shabbat. Temple members, friends and family shared their congratulations. However, Cantor Devorah Avery said it best: “In Pirkei Avot, Rabban Gamliel says, ‘Aseh L’cha Rav — Appoint for thyself a teacher, a rabbi.’ You are our teacher, Rabbi Paley. Rabbis wear so many hats in congregational life. You have been our teacher, leader, therapist, confidant, guide, officiant, mentor, role-model and friend. The job of rabbi is all-consuming; it takes time away from family and friends. The commitment is more often than not, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“Rabbi Paley, you have given of yourself fully to Temple Shalom and we are so grateful, especially at this time. There is no guidebook, no map, for how to be a spiritual leader of a congregation during a pandemic. Rabbi Paley, as many people have pointed out in recent weeks, as the senior rabbi of this congregation, you serve as a spiritual first responder for all of us. Your presence, your guidance, and your words nurture this congregation. You are the rock of this community and you help inspire us to meet each day.
“The responsibility and weight of leadership can often feel lonely. You have been there for Temple Shalom. You have been there for our times of joy, our times of deepest grief, our times of celebration. As you have shown up for us, so too, do we want to show up for you and honor your achievements and precious lifecycle events. Thank you, Rabbi Paley, for all you do and all you have done for this community.”

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