Four Rabbis Chavrutah

At 10am the morning of March 17, 2024, a packed sanctuary (as well as minions online) were treated to a glimpse into the Chavruta (study group) that has been ongoing for four White Plains Rabbis: our own Le Bronstein, Rabbi Emeritus of Temple Israel Center, Gordon Tucker, Rabbi Emeritus of Kol Ami, Shira Milgrom and Rabbi Chaim Marder of Hebrew Institute. Our president, Jon Gerstel, introduced the study partners. Rabbi Bronstein told us that Pirkei Avot advises, “find yourself a teacher”, and “judge all people favorably”. Rabbi Milgrom explained tat she knew Rabbi Tucker since they were teenagers and Rabbi Bronstein since Rabbinical School. She knew Rabbi Marder from Hebrew Institute in Riverdale. She relished the idea of interdenominational learning, and offered “we have to institutionalize rebellion”. The sad event of Rabin’s assassination was a trigger for a community-wide event that brought these rabbis together. Rabbi Tucker offered, “A tradition that has only one way of expressing itself is an impoverished tradition.” Rabbi Marder opined that their chavruta created a bond over Torah, established a sense of trust and generosity. Rabbi Tucker shared that they received emotional care from each other. Rabbi Bronstein spoke of the intellectual sharpness he benefitted from as a result of the chavruta. Rabbi Marder shared that Hebrew Institute leaned on all the other congregations during their construction, just as Bet Am did, in the aftermath of our fire. Rabbi Bronstein emphasized that through their discussions differences don’t disappear. Constructive differences are complicated, but workable. Eric Levine photographed the event.