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August 27, 2015 | 12th Elul 5775

Debi Klein, Plano, TX

I have personally known Debbie since the late 1970s or early 1980s when we both lived in Houston, Texas, and I have such fond memories of our friendship.

Her music has always been a large part of my life, especially as a music leader and choir member at various congregations in the Houston and Dallas areas and as a youth group advisor for a large Reform congregation in the Houston area. In fact, Debbie started a community chorus at the Jewish Community Center in Houston shortly before she moved to California. I was a participant in the choir and when it was time for her to leave Houston, she asked me to take over the choir and continue the preparation for a Shabbat Shira service at Congregation Beth Israel early the following year. What an honor that was for her to trust me with her music. We also spent time together at Greene Family Camp during a family retreat where she was the guest speaker for the weekend, and I even ran into her in the bathroom at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem. A former congregation of mine hosted Debbie for a fundraiser about 4 years ago. Unfortunately there was a terrible ice storm in Dallas that day, so the audience wasn't as large as we had hoped, but we sure were enthusiastic. I was given the honor of introducing Debbie and was lucky enough to have her ask me to sing with her during the concert. I will miss her so much, but her music will live forever, and she will be forever in my heart.

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