A most moving ceremony took place after Havdallah on November 22, 2014, when Rabbi Deborah Brin bestowed smicha upon Dr. Goldberg. The congregation of 200 people cheered and gave a standing ovation to Aviva, who has been Shir Libeynu’s “all but in formal title” rabbi for more than 18 years, and was a co-founder as well.
Daniela Gesundheit led the chazzanut part of the ritual, and was accompanied on contemporary songs by other musicians. The event took place in the sanctuary of our community partner, First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto (where we hold our High Holy Days services).
Following the ordination, friends, family and Shir Libeynu members piled into the social hall, where we danced to live music from our klezmer band and we hoisted Rabbi Goldberg up to honour her great achievement (see picture below). Tribute speeches that were both funny and poignant followed, and then member Paula Wolfson belted out a specially-written song, with new lyrics to a golden oldie called “A Natural Rabbi,” backed by an enthusiastic girls/one boy group. We ate, we shmoozed, we ate some more snacks as well as delicious sweets contributed by our members and their families. Many volunteers and staff members helped to make this a great event, one we will always remember.