The Value of…Authenticity

Jenny Kramer


I am so excited to officially join the community at TEBH! Leading up to this moment many people have asked me: “How will your journey to this point in your life in uence your leadership as Rabbi Educator?” This question gives me reason to pause and re ect on my journey from aerospace engineer to rabbi and educator and on the core values that drive me each and every day. Let’s call these the Rabbi Lutz’s “ABCs.”                   

Let’s start with “A”…the value of authenticity resides at the core of my being. People are often surprised to hear that I really liked my job as an aerospace engineer. I was part of a specialized team in charge of creating products that never before existed. Although engineering was fun, being an engineer was only part of me. It was a job that occupied my mind, but I wanted a vocation which exercised my mind, heart, and soul. I wanted a job where I could be my authentic and whole self each and every day. What I realized was that the moments in my life in which I felt most authentically me, were all Jewish moments: my bar-mitzvah, my con rmation, Jewish summer camp, Jewish college life, and living in Israel. All of these experiences challenged me to embody my whole genuine self: mind, heart, and soul.                   

Today, as I re ect on my journey, I also realize that the journey towards authenticity is aspirational. All of my Jewish experiences built on the previous ones, each allowing me to get closer and closer to that aspirational true self. I believe Jewish education is a vehicle for us to practice embodying that concept of our identity, so that each day we feel more connected to our own authenticity. My vision is that over this next year, we can begin to honestly de ne and embody who we are as a Jewish educational community. Then as individuals we can practice what it feels like to be our authentic selves.

I already feel at home in the TEBH community and look forward to meeting each and every one of you. So, come ask me about “B” and “C” and share your core values with me, as we continue on this Jewish journey together.

– Rabbi Adam Lutz