“Greetings and Blessings to whom these presents come! Whereas Gitel Chaye Eta, daughter of Soreh Lea & Chaim Yakov, The Reverend Karen Rosenfeld-Roekard, B.A., M.B.A.
“has for many years studied Torah and created resources, worship and prayer and Whereas she manages to arouse in worshippers energetic aliveness, depths of kavannah, heights of elation, mutual blessing and benevolence, insights of Torah and the stimulation to inspiration and intuition Be it resolved that she be recognized as a
“Gaba’it (administrator), Morah L’Torah (teacher of Torah), Maggidah (preacher, storyteller, moralizer, cheerleader), Ba’alat Tefilah (prayer leader), V’Ro’et Tzon Kedoshin (guardian of Holy Sheep – those being led to the slaughter – another name for those murdered in the Holocaust)
“Rabbinic deputy, Teacher in the manner of ALEPH Jewish Renewal groups and be accorded the rank of empowered conductor of Jewish calendar and life-cycle rituals. To this empowerment I set my signature and seal this 13th of Tammuz, the 5th of July 2009.”
Rabbi Zalman M. Schachter-Shalomi
The Rav Meshulem Zalman Chiyeh ben R. Shlomo z”l
The Minyan extends a strong and joyous “Mazal Tov!” to Rev/Reb Karen. B’li neder, please G!d, we will make a celebration next summer on the 13th of Tammuz!
Almost eighteen years ago, Reb Zalman Shlita offered Karen Roekard, one of the Aquarian Minyan’s Spiritual Leaders, Rabbinic smicha; she did not feel comfortable with the title and so did not accept it. Since that time she’s “married ‘um, buried ‘um, bar/bat mitzvahed ‘um, become an ongoing ritual and prayer service leader, and given advice to, and helped, innumerable folks. She’s written, published, shipped and shlepped her now-classic Santa Cruz Haggadah. And of late, has been involved in projects related to destroyed Jewish communities and here-to-fore unnamed Holocaust victims.
Last May, Karen’s neighbors in Florida insisted she officiate at a funeral/memorial. The participants also insisted on calling her “Rabbi,” even though she protested the title. Afterwards she wrote to Reb Zalman saying, “I am ready to receive that long-ago offered smicha,” that she was sick of having to “explain” her position when performing the role of life-cycle ritual leader.
Reb Zalman replied that he was no longer able to give Rabbinic Smichot but that he wanted to give her something. She met with him in Boulder where he conferred a very special “something” on our girl. “13th of Tammuz, 5769 (note: this is the day Reb Yosef Yitzchak Schneerson received his certificate of release, freeing him from exile. It is considered a “festival of liberation” within the Lubavitcher community and the date Reb Zalman chose).