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September 19, 2014 | 24th Elul 5774

Dr. Lisa Braun-Glazer, Congregation Beth Israel, San Diego, CA

I first encountered Debbie some 17 years ago at the URJ Kallah. There, I felt something that I had never before experienced. When Debbie sang, and in turn, encouraged us to join her, the Divine energy was palpable; Debbie channeled God. She literally helped me to find my voice, which in turn, has enabled me to fully connect with God on my personal path, that of making Judaism meaningful and relevant to my community.

Although I had been involved for some time at Congregation Beth Israel in San Diego as a lay leader, had participated in creating our lay-led Shabbat morning minyan and had initiated our first Tashlich service, it wasn't until I encountered Debbie, that I actually led the minyan in song. I went on to create an alternative, participatory High Holy Day experience for families and edited an accompanying machzor. I am convinced that my current passion of spearheading the efforts to create Waters of Eden, a community mikvah and education center for San Diego, is an outgrowth of the seed Debbie nurtured in me – the desire to bring a palpable, participatory, emotionally engaging experience to contemporary Jews. I

I will forever be in Debbie's debt for giving me the key to unlocking my voice, and thus, my connection to the One. Let us each go forth to do God's work, and in this way, carry on her blessing.

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