With our 2023 Ordination-Graduation ceremony approaching, we are highlighting members of the graduating class. Click here to see all of the posts in this series.
Today we’re talking with Rabbinical Graduate Jennie Bunde.
1) With the ceremony approaching, what emotions are you feeling?
So many feelings! Excitement at being able to fully step into my role as rabbi of congregation Temple Sholom, sadness at finishing my studies at AJRCA, humbled at the prospect of being honored with ordination.
2) What is one learning from your Academy experience that you will take with you after graduation?
An expression that came up again and again at AJRCA was “Da lifnei Mi atah omed” – “know before Whom you stand.” When you’re on the bimah, it’s not just about knowing Who is behind you, but also knowing who is in front of you too. Who are the people that you’re serving? Are you seeing them as they truly are? Aleinu, it’s upon us, to know who we serve.
Get a second computer monitor and a way to digitize your class notes. It makes hybrid learning so much easier!!! 😉
3) Is there anything you learned at AJRCA that truly surprised you?
The power of tefillah when my classmates and I get together in person and pray. The sound envelopes you like a warm hug. It’s a transcendent-transdenominational experience.
4) If you could go back in time and tell your pre-AJRCA self one thing, what would that be?
“You’re in the right place. You’re where you’re supposed to be.”
At the beginning of my journey, I was so worried that I didn’t know enough to be a rabbinical student. I worried that I didn’t know enough Hebrew, enough history, enough liturgy. What I’ve learned is that MANY of my classmates had those same feelings. It’s natural. We all have growing edges for learning and study. And AJRCA is all about learning, and the more you learn, the more you realize how much you don’t know. Talmud Torah, the study of Torah, is a lifelong endeavor. Enjoy it!