Rabbi Moshe Pomerantz 

How could one ever top an invitation from a brilliant scholar, my most unforgettable professor?

A Man in a a New York City Sweatshirt

New York
A Jewish Perspective

In 1957, only after I accepted the honor of leading High Holy Day services at the seminary synagogue, did I realize I’d be alone—no family, no friends, no meal plans! I knew my family in Baltimore would be disappointed, but I felt, since it was my final year of rabbinical school at JTS, it was time to experience a rabbinic position and responsibility. Nevertheless, as I headed to shop for yom tov–type food, my mood and spirits were low. 

When I returned to my room, the phone was ringing. It was an invitation to come for dinner erev Rosh Hashanah at the home of my favorite teacher, Abraham Joshua Heschel (z”l). I accepted with joy and excitement. The mitzvah and importance of hachnasat orchim was forever etched in my heart, and it was an evening I’ve never forgotten. 

I must confess there is another reason it turned out to be the sweetest, most wonderful Rosh Hashanah ever.  A Ramah friend Barbara Goldsmith Levin had promised to introduce me to her new roommate in the Joint Program and said they’d be coming to JTS on Rosh Hashanah. When I met Barbara’s roommate, our eyes locked for a moment, there was an appropriate introduction after, we sat and talked for hours, and, as they say, the rest is history. As I write this 65 years later, I’ve never forgotten the best yontif of my life! How could one ever top receiving an invitation from a brilliant scholar, my most unforgettable professor; experiencing the excitement of leading a most distinguished congregation (the seminary faculty and community); and meeting my bashert, the love of my life, Kay Kantor Pomerantz, now a recognized Jewish educator, author, the mother of our four extraordinary children, and savta to our grandchildren and first great grandchild.

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