08 November 2017

Love, Joy, and Gratitude from Rabbi Brian Stoller

Written by Rabbi Brian Stoller

3clergyDear Friends,

Karen, Lindsay, Zachary, and I want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the amazing Rabbinic Installation celebration last weekend! Our hearts are filled with love, joy, and gratitude for the warm way in which you officially welcomed us into the Temple Israel family! The Shabbat dinner Friday evening was elegant and delicious, the installation service created by Cantor Shermet and Rabbi Berezin was powerful for our community and so touching to me personally, the Shabbat morning service and lunch were uplifting and welcoming, and the study sessions were inspiring and exhilarating!  It was such an incredible honor for me to share the bima with my revered teacher, Rabbi David Ellenson, and our beloved Rabbi Emeritus Aryeh Azriel, both of who are role models for me of warmth, intellect, vision, and principled leadership.

Thank you to all the volunteers, our lay leadership, and our outstanding clergy and professional team who put this wonderful weekend together for our community, and thank you to the Hermene Zweiback Center for Lifelong Jewish Learning for sponsoring Rabbi Ellenson’s visit to Omaha! Temple Israel is such a kind, loving community of people who are generous of heart and spirit, and I am so excited to officially begin our journey together!

As we began the installation service on Friday night, the Torah scroll was passed through the hands of our current board and past presidents, to Rabbi Azriel, and then to me. I received it from them, and from you, as a sacred trust, with an open heart and a willing soul. As we go forward together, we will honor the legacy of those who led us to where we are today and, standing on their shoulders, we will look toward the horizon to imagine the future and bring it to life in innovative and exciting ways!

Thank you again for giving me this tremendous honor and incredible opportunity to serve as your rabbi! 

With much love and affection,

Rabbi Stoller

Watch each rabbis remarks from the Installation Service.
Rabbi Azriel is first to speak, Rabbi Ellenson starts at 10:30, and Rabbi Stoller speaks of his vision for the synagogue life at the 40:05.



About the Author

Rabbi Brian Stoller

Rabbi Brian Stoller

Rabbi Stoller - Senior Rabbi

Rabbi Stoller grew up in Houston, TX, and attended The University of Texas where he received a Bachelor of Business Administration in Honors Business Program & Finance in 1996. After graduation, he first worked as a Political Consultant and Hill Consultants in Houston and then serviced as Press Secretary for U.S. Senator Peter Fitzgerald (IL), Washington, DC. Rabbi Stoller has stated, “Seven years in politics is enough to drive you to God. That is my short explanation for why I left my career as a U.S. Senate press secretary to become a rabbi – although, in truth, there is a lot more to the story. While politics can certainly be disillusioning, I see my journey from the Capitol to the rabbinate as a personal spiritual evolution toward a fuller, more authentic version of myself, a deeper engagement with things that really matter, and the realization of my destiny to be a teacher and spiritual guide to others.”

Rabbi Stoller was previously the associate rabbi at Congregation B’nai Jehoshua Beth Elohim (BJBE), Deerfield, IL. He served at BJBE since 2008 when he was ordained as a rabbi from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Cincinnati, OH, where he is currently also a Ph.D. Candidate in Rabbinics.

Rabbi Stoller is married to Karen Flayhart and they have two children, Lindsay (7) and Zachary (3). For enjoyment, Rabbi Stoller likes cycling and is learning to play ukulele with his daughter along with learning to read German.

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