My Uncle Harvey Abramowitz inspires me. To me, he is more than his email signature URGHA (for those who maybe outside our small, close-knit femily*) that stands for Uncle-Rabbi-General-Harvey-Abramowitz. In over 75 years, my uncle has held many careers. But if you ask me he is the most proud of his time as a rabbi and the connections he’s made throughout his life. To some he is their rabbi and an aid during a time of loss. To others he is the man about his small town of Huntington, Long Island. If you ask me, he is my mentor who enjoys bowls and bowls of my Aunt Joanie’s signature “savory” cottage cheese while we write together. He would write sermons and I would write my blog posts! Except now, he has traded writing sermons for assisting me in figuring out my next chapter as he relaxes during his.
In the first semester of my senior year, I have been sending resumes and cover letters to various job opportunities. The application process comes with my impending graduation from Conn, and Uncle Harvey is there to cheer me along. He once did these very tasks many, many times throughout his career as a photographer, Army general, Yeshiva student, and later in life–as a full-time rabbi.
Like Conn, his congregation, Temple Or Elohim, is small and very much a community. When I came to visit the congregation over Rosh Hashanah (The Jewish New Year), a congregant asked me two very special questions: “What are your plans for next year?” and “How do you feel about your uncle’s retirement?” The first question always yields a very much-unknown answer, but the second is quite simple. I answered with, “As long as he keeps inspiring me, and allows me to sit and write with him, I am more than excited for him along with this new chapter in both our lives!”
**Femily is not a typo – its how we address each other in emails, text messages, and everyday conversation**