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Holli Berman announces her retirement in 2022

12/08/2020 10:24:10 AM


Holli Berman and Marianne Balin

From: Holli

I find great joy in helping a young person grow and start to take ownership of their Jewish journey. While working with each B’nai Mitzvah student on the oral presentation of their D’var Torah, the delivery of their personal interpretation and meaning in that week’s Torah portion, I utilize a public speaking tool that I created many years ago, and still use today. I ask them to find specific places to write, “Look Up And Pause”, or LUAP (Loo-App) for short. In finding themselves in Torah, I ask each student to take some time to connect with the kahal, the congregation, and give us a moment to digest the important nuggets of truth they have shared.

I am beyond grateful to have been a witness to myriad lifecycle moments, from celebrating simchas, to leading services, to learning together, to sitting with a congregant’s pain. You, the Har HaShem community, are my extended family. I have grown up with you, and you have taught me so much. It is with a heart full of love and gratitude that I share with you that I will be retiring from my position of Cantorial Soloist in June, 2022. That date will mark thirty years of teaching and twenty-five years of serving on the clergy team for our beloved synagogue. 

Over the next eighteen months, I will continue to work tirelessly for our vibrant and thriving congregation. The staff, board, and leadership of Har HaShem will create working committees to provide a smooth transition, thoughtfully determining the next best step. You and I will have many opportunities to talk, sing, cry, celebrate, pray, and collaborate together, both virtually and eventually in-person, as we move through this shift. And, I will always remain a part of Har HaShem. 

I love every moment of my work. My smile when we sing together is borne from feeling a deep reverence for the holiness we have all created here at Har HaShem. As a cancer survivor, I certainly know how very precious life is. The school year 2022/23 will be Marcia and my twin sons’ senior year of college, both back east. We look forward to attending Seth’s senior saxophone recital and watching Jaron play lead piano in the orchestra pit of whatever musical his company will be doing that year. We look forward to being with our daughter, Lauren, as she considers a move back to Colorado. I look forward to spending time with family near and far, and figuring out my next adventures and opportunities. I plan to take some time to LUAP…and see what happens next.

From: Marianne Balin, President of the Board of Directors

Holli’s announcement is bittersweet news. We acknowledge the depth of her imprint upon our community, and we also know she is looking forward to the next chapter in her family’s life.  

In the short term, very little will change at Har HaShem. We have 18 months to enjoy Holli before she retires! She will continue to lead services, work with b’nai mitzvah students, and sit with us in moments of need. For now, let’s all look up and appreciate what Holli brings to us: her talents, her smile, her heart. As June 2022 nears, we’ll pause and celebrate this transition in Holli’s and Har HaShem’s lives.

  • Planning!
    Our Strategic Planning Committee has already begun exploring our hopes for the future, including our visions for worship, ritual and relationships with clergy. Their work -- in which you will be able to participate -- will lay a strong foundation for the Search Committee we will form to help us fill the position. Watch for news about our process and opportunities to contribute.

  • Celebrating!
    I am confident that many Har HaShemniks will delight in celebrating and honoring Holli and her contributions. If you have suggestions, might like to help, or just want to share a story, please email me. We’ll begin organizing events and programs later in 2021.

In the meantime, we look forward to a joyful Chanukah. We’ll gather -- virtually -- each night to light the menorah, and singer/songwriter Dan Nichols will join us Saturday for a concert and havdallah. Be sure to come to Har HaShem’s parking lot for a Chanukah sound and light show on  Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. Find all of our plans online.

Mon, June 24 2024 18 Sivan 5784