Click here for Tribute Book.
On Sunday night, June 1, we roasted, toasted and honored our beloved Rabbi David Zaslow in celebration of his 20 years of leadership at Havurah Shir Hadash.
As Havurah members and friends arrived, the shock on their faces was, let’s say, remarkable! The Havurah was utterly, completely, unrecognizably transformed into a dramatic, elegant nightclub. Cocktails and champagne flowed, great food was served and the Paul Schmeling band warmed us with fine jazz.
Our Rebbetzin, as the incomparable mistress of ceremonies, entertained and delighted, and the evening unfolded with a comedic lineup that had everyone roaring with laughter from start to finish. Friends and comedians par excellence regaled us with memories, true (and not-so-true) stories and lots of shtik about our favorite rabbi.
Hal Dresner set the tone for the evening. Lisa and David Koch roasted Reb David in three wickedly funny comedic skits complete with music and original lyrics. Paula Flowers and David Gabriel sang “This Rabbi Makes You Like the Jews” and had old friends and Havurahniks singing the chorus all together. Jan and Marcia Chaiken were hilarious as George Burns and Gracie Allen.
Jazz pianist Patty McCoy got a standing ovation for her beautiful rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” Devorah and Ayala told the story of Reb Dovid of Zaslov trying to interpret an ancient teaching that turned out to be a recipe for kreplach. Bruce Morris and Maggidah Cassandra Sagan came all the way from P’nai Or in Portland to imitate Rabbi David leading a Bar Mitzvah. Ron Burgess got the County Sheriff (yes, the REAL County Sheriff) to come and pretend to arrest the Rabbi…for alleged prior offenses from his early days in Ashland!
Watching Rabbi David, who was seated on a high chair just to the right of the stage, doubling over in laughter until the tears ran down his face was priceless.
It was an enchanted evening that folks have been talking about ever since. Not only was it one of the most delightfully classy, side-busting events the Havurah has ever seen, but we also successfully met our financial goal to support Rabbi David’s position for this fiscal year. Our deepest thanks go to all of you who participated, from near and far, in this extraordinary tribute.
Congratulations to Reb David on his 20th anniversary with the Havurah! He has enriched our lives and our community immeasurably and we look forward to his continued outstanding leadership in the years to come.