Rabbi Lustig’s Announcement

Rabbi Lustig at the bimah

Dear WHC Community,

In his Rosh HaShanah sermon, Rabbi Lustig shared that just as he has cared for the health and spiritual well-being of our community for the past 35 years, he has decided that it is time that he does the same for himself. Following this Yom Kippur, Rabbi Lustig will step back from the day-to-day activities of the Congregation. Throughout the coming year, he will continue officiating life cycle events as planned and will remain available to the Congregation. He will join us again to lead us in worship on the High Holy Days in 2022 and will then transition to Emeritus status. We know Rabbi Lustig came to this with great care and thought, and we fully support his decision to ensure that he can continue to lead a long, healthy life beyond his rabbinate.

As our senior rabbi for more than 20 years, Rabbi Lustig has elevated our Congregation. He has developed deep and lasting relationships with our community as a spiritual leader, teacher, and friend. His passions for social justice, interfaith understanding, and tikkun olam — repairing the world — have been a guiding influence for each of us at Washington Hebrew, and we have also seen their impact on local, national, and global levels.

Rabbi Lustig plays such an essential role in the lives of so many of our congregants, and in the months ahead, we all look forward to celebrating him and honoring his almost 40-year rabbinic career.

This next year will be one of transition, and we are blessed that Rabbi Susan Shankman and Cantor Susan Bortnick — who together have more than 40 years of history with Washington Hebrew — will lead us with compassion and distinction. They will work closely with Rabbis Miller and Fischel; our executive director, Steve Jacober; lay leadership; and staff.

And during this time, all of us — clergy, staff, lay leadership, and you, our members — will come together to chart an exciting path for our future. It is a future that draws on the strength of our Congregation’s 170-year history, honors the teachings, principles, and traditions of our faith, and engages today’s Jewish community.

We know you may wish to reach out directly to Rabbi Lustig with personal thoughts or messages, and we have set up a new email address for him — RabbiLustig@whctemple.org. We encourage you to use this address so that your messages will remain separate from his substantial, regular email communications.

If you have questions, you are welcome to contact us at president@whctemple.org or sjacober@whctemple.org.

We are here to listen and help guide our Congregation from strength to strength.

Steve Jacober, Executive Director
Mark D. Director, WHC President
Lewis Wiener, WHC First Vice President