It took me a little while (see here, here and here, for example), but I’m really starting to enjoy my position with the new YU/Torah miTzion Beit Midrash (aka “YU Kollel”) in Toronto.
Leaving the rabbinate is still difficult, but as I write this on the eve of our official “Launch,” and after a Shabbaton with our chevra in Thornhill, I can really say that this is turning out to be both challenging and fun.
Among the highlights:
• The great opportunities to work creatively with community institutions, ranging from the shuls to UJA to JCCs to schools to youth organizations;
• The tremendous chance to do this with my brilliant and energetic co-conspirator, Rabbi Azarya Berzon, our scholar-in-residence;
• The chance to work with four incredible avrechim and our Executive Director, each a unique mind, each talented in a unique way, and yet forming a positive, cohesive group;
• The opportunity to invent new ways to help these fantastic four avrechim develop. We are already doing some remarkable things in this area, such as our "Toronto Torah" עלון and a “You Make the Shiur” project I hope to discuss on this blog soon;
• The ability to spend much of my time in learning and shiur-development;
• The opportunity to work with great shul rabbonim across the spectrum;
• The chance to offer all sorts of shiurim, from minchas chinuch to Tanach to creative Jewish writing, in diverse venues;
• The opportunity to do all of this in Toronto, a cosmopolitan community with some 180,000 Jews of various stripes and flavors, an audience that demands creativity and offers me a great stage on which to try new approaches.
…Not to mention, I get to do all of this while living through Thursdays without the megastress I formerly faced, and I get to be with my children for so much more of Shabbos.
Pretty soon, our new website