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Jewish learning Commencement Closing Prayer

By Rabbi Shira Shazeer `10

Ribono shel olam, Master Teacher of infinite time and space, bless the rabbis, cantors, scholars and educators who gather today to mark the closing of a time dedicated to learning and growth, and everyone who has helped each of us reach this day.

To you, God, there is little distinction between the several years each of us has been nurtured in this sacred learning community, and the hundred years Hebrew College has been doing the sacred work of uplifting Jewish leaders. Both are like the blink of an eye.

But we marvel at the change the world has undergone in those spans of time.

Over its hundred years, Hebrew College has grown, moved, and adapted in all the ways necessary to remain steadfast in its mission, to sustain the vitality of the jewish community of Boston, and of America, through education that is engaging and relevant to the times.

For today’s graduates, in the time it has taken us to pursue our course of study, the world has changed around us.

The paths we envisioned our studies leading us on may now appear different than we imagined when we began.

But the jewish community needs leaders no less than it did when we began, or when Hebrew College itself began.

God, who dwells among us, bless us with the ability to adapt and thrive, like the school that has nurtured us, and in the footsteps of our ancestors who understood that you dwell with us wherever we are if only we reach out to find you.

Bless us with the wisdom to share what we have learned in this holy community, to let your words, your wisdom and your presence guide our path.

Help us to continue to grow and learn, drawing on the source of learning we can always find in our teachers, colleagues, and friends, and help us to recognize and learn from the divine image in every human being we encounter.

And sustain the mission of Hebrew College, in its next hundred years, so that it may continue to enrich the jewish community, as it has enriched us, for generations to come.

Rabbi Shira Shazeer received rabbinic ordination from the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College in 2010 and a Masters Degree in Jewish Education in 2022. Previously she studied Torah in the Scholars Circle at Drisha Institute for Jewish Learning and music at Goucher College.  Rabbi Shazeer teaches in the learning center at Gann Academy, and directs the Boston chapter of HaZaPrep, the preparatory arm of HaZamir, the international Jewish teen choir.

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