Dear Family and Friends of Sha’arei Shalom,

With a mix of joy and sadness, it’s time to spread the word that Jason & Anna Moraff are moving!

Jason will be concluding his internship here at Sha’arei Shalom at the end of May, and he and Anna will be moving to Pasadena, California, in early June.  The reason for their move is good news: Jason has been accepted, and awarded a fellowship, to the Ph.D. program in New Testament Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary.  This is a tremendous accomplishment and “Mazel Tov’s” are most definitely in order!

As many of you will recall, Jason moved to the Triangle in the late-summer of 2015 in order to work on a Master of Theological Studies degree at Duke Divinity School (which he has now successfully completed).  At that time, he also began an internship here at Sha’arei Shalom as a partnership between our synagogue and the Kehillah 2020 program of the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations.  In the course of his nearly two-year internship, Jason has performed numerous administrative tasks on a weekly basis, handled communications such as the bulletin and eNews, assisted the facilities team, taught Jr. Shabbat, Hebrew, adult education classes, helped with the Youth Group, delivered Shabbat morning drashes, and led the young adults (YAShaar).  In every sphere of congregational life, Jason has always been an absolute joy to be around, and he has been a blessing in countless ways.

Last summer, mid-way through Jason’s internship, he and Anna were married, and Anna moved to the Triangle.  She rapidly became an integral part of our community, while also quickly becoming successful in her field of health & fitness.  At Sha’arei, Jason is so much more than an “intern” and Anna is so much more than a “newcomer.”  With their unique personalities, distinctive gift sets, and heartfelt investment in many of our lives, they contribute greatly to our congregational community.  They will be deeply missed here, but the opportunities before them should bring all of us great nachus!

We will pray for Jason & Anna in the Shabbat morning service on June 3rd.  That will be their last Shabbat with us before their move.  We will have a community oneg after services on that day as we say “see you later” to Jason & Anna, so please remember to bring a vegetarian dish to share.

A “send-off” such as this one has a bitter-sweetness to it.  In some ways, it reminds me of Shaul’s goodbye to the congregation in Ephesus (Acts 20:36-37).  The relationships were deep.  Hearts were knitted together.  I will miss Jason & Anna very much, but I fully affirm their next steps, which I know were forged through prayer and diligence.  I believe very strongly that their current path is God-directed.  Please take the opportunity to say “see you later” to them, and to share some words of encouragement.  I trust Jason & Anna will not be strangers to Sha’arei.  I hope that we will see them in the future when they visit our community, where they will always hold an honored place.

Toward a bright future in Messiah,

Seth Klayman, Rabbi
Congregation Sha’arei Shalom

A Bittersweet Send-Off

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