“The Jonathan Miller Years”
By Richard Friedman,
BJF Executive Director
The Jonathan Miller years.
I’m sure glad that I was around for them.
For 27 years, this outstanding rabbi and wonderful and caring man has not only enriched the lives of his congregants at Temple Emanu-El and our Jewish community, but he has made an extraordinary impact on people of all faiths and backgrounds throughout the state of Alabama.
Tonight beginning at 5:40 pm, Rabbi Miller will conduct his last Friday night Sabbath service as Temple Emanu-El’s rabbi. As the service concludes, no doubt reaching a crescendo with the closing prayers, a man of greatness will exit from the sanctuary.
Everyday of his 27 year tenure, Rabbi Miller, through his preaching, teaching and writing skills, has devoted himself to two sacred tasks: Strengthening Jewish life locally and globally, and making life in Birmingham better for all of its citizens.
He has been a bridge-builder, trouble-shooter, ambassador, passionate advocate for Israel and the well-being of Jews everywhere, an innovator, a risk-taker, and a beacon of leadership and spirituality for all of Birmingham.
As a Temple Emanu-El congregant, I have been inspired by his public leadership; as a professional colleague, I have been guided by his judgment and wisdom. On behalf of the Birmingham Jewish Federation, I thank Rabbi Miller for his nearly three decades of service. The BJF wishes him, his wife Judi and their beautiful family much happiness as he enters this next stage of his life.
As I think about my friend and rabbi, the things I admire most in Jonathan Miller are his kindness, compassion and open-heartedness toward others. To have sustained these attributes over the decades, and to never have wavered in his idealism, are the things about him that I love the best.
And always will.