Temple Vero Beach of Vero Beach recently held a two day event for Rabbi Michael Birnholz who has served as the Religious Leader for the congregation for the past 20 years. The Board of Directors and a special appointed committee planned a weekend of prayer and celebration in recognition of his outstanding service and dedication to the synagogue and congregants while building meaningful relationships within the interfaith community of Indian River County.
A Sabbath service held at the Temple on Friday, March 10, launched the weekend event in prayer, singing, and honoring past presidents of the organization as well as a number of the community’s interfaith supporters. Pointe West Country Club was the venue for the March 11th gala for 150 friends, synagogue members and community leaders as Birnholz was feted for the evening with an array of speeches by local clergy and a video that presented accolades through song, photographs and personal zoom messages that included a proclamation by the County of Indian River County Commissioners as well as a special recognition by the Mayor and Council Members from the City of Vero Beach.
Twenty years ago, Rabbi Michael Birnholz arrived at Temple Beth Shalom just following his ordination from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. Having his age on his side, coupled with an exuberance to begin his career, he saw the Vero Beach opportunity, for himself, his wife Jill and his young family of three, as a chance to grow in body and to reach out to a wider interfaith community. The role of a Rabbi is to be a teacher, an educator, and a leader who is sufficiently educated in Jewish law while guiding decisions at the synagogue and leading spiritual services as well as encouraging growth and fostering unity among the congregation and the greater community.
Birnholz has been recognized with awards and praise throughout the years including a recent proclamation from the Commissioners of Indian River County, an appreciation from the Mayor representing the City of Vero Beach, an Exchange Club Book of Golden Deeds which honors volunteers who give endless hours of their time and talents toward making their communities better places to live and the Chapel of the Four Chaplains medal for performing acts of selfless service in his community.
Temple Beth Shalom is a Reform Jewish congregation dedicated to Jewish values of study, worship and social responsibility and is located at 365 43rd Avenue, Vero Beach, FL 32968. As a caring community and House of Peace, they strive to meet the spiritual, intellectual, social and cultural needs of each member of the Temple family. For more information, visit www.tbsvero.org or to reach Rabbi Birnholz directly, call 772-569-4700.