Okay already–enough with the birthday thing…. No really it has been a wonderful month of celebrating my special birthday. Friday evening at Shabbat was truly the icing on the cake. My wonderful special congregation gave me a birthday Shabbat that was so touching and sweet. So many Temple members turned out to celebrate. It was inspiring to me. And those that couldn’t make it (many were starting to travel to family for Pesach monday night) called or emailed their good wishes. We prayed and sang (two of my favorite things to do!). And my wonderful Board of Trustees invited some good friends and temple leaders to speak. My dear friends and past presidents – both part of the founding Steering Committee of the Temple, John and Wendy spoke from their hearts. Later in the service my teacher and friend Rabbi Jacobs spoke and then my good friend and activist buddy, Rev. Susan Russell spoke. This was then capped by our Mayor Pro Tem, John Heilman of West Hollywood sharing that the City Council had declared Friday “Denise Eger Day”! Wow my very own day. He then welcomed State Assembly Speaker John Perez. I was so honored and touched my friend made time in his now hugely busy schedule to spend Shabbat with all of us at Kol Ami and to share such touching words. This is the second time in just as many months that he has spoken at Kol Ami and given the best sermon! John has a way with words and his heart–he doesn’t give just political speeches but true sermons. I love him for his kindness to me. And a surprise but wonderful visit from now LA City Councilmember Paul Koretz. Paul is a former West Hollywood Mayor and State Assembly member and now represents the 5th Council District. I have known Paul and his family for many years. And so I was touched that he came and celebrated with us.
Our beautiful Cantor, Mark Saltzman sang so sweetly and my family was there to celebrate.
Thank you to all who made it so very special for me. I am not usually a birthday person. I like celebrating others but I am actually often shy about my own–rarely celebrating with anything but a quiet dinner with family and friends. But this year really made it a bang. I will always remember this turning 50.
I feel blessed to have so much kindness bestowed by so many. Thank you God for giving me life, for sustaining me and for bringing me to this occasion. Amen.