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As far back as his rabbinical school days, Billy Dreskin had a dream: to serve one congregation for an entire generation. To stand under the chuppah with young people whose naming ceremonies he had officiated. To be with the same community through the cycle of life, from birth through death and all the joys and sorrows along the way. 

Rabbi Billy achieved that, and we are all richer for it. Now we have the opportunity to celebrate a momentous event in his life — retirement. 

There are many ways to celebrate Billy in the coming months. Covid may prevent us from all gathering together, so we’ve created multiple opportunities for congregants to wish Billy well as safely as possible. Take a look at the options below and make sure to mark your calendars for all of the dates and times!  

Rabbi Billy’s Tribute Journal

Please join in thanking, honoring, or roasting Rabbi Billy, or sharing a story by creating a tribute in “The Rabbi Billy Years.”

This Journal will be different from any journal you’ve seen before — and we hope you will participate in creating it by purchasing your tribute to Rabbi Billy. Our goal is full participation by every member of the Woodlands community.

The journal will be ONLINE only. We know Rabbi Billy loves technology and loves saving trees. This is also the safest, most convenient option during Covid. Plus, this journal will be a living, constantly evolving website that will last in perpetuity and will include not only our individual tributes but also photos and memories from all of the events celebrating Billy’s retirement.  

Offering a tribute to Rabbi Billy is simple.  Just go to wct.org/CelebrateBilly and follow the instructions to purchase your ad. You can design your own sharing a memory about Billy, telling him what he means to you and your family, and even uploading a photo! Or you can choose (and personalize) one of the beautiful templates available on the site. The journal website is user-friendly, but if you need help, Woodlands volunteers are available to assist.  Email celebratebilly@wct.org for assistance.

One more cool thing about going high-tech — you won’t have to wait to see the journal. You’ll be able to view it online as it is being created, see the tributes as they pour in, and let them inspire you in developing a memorable, meaningful ad.

Rabbi Billy’s Food Truck Festival —Sunday, May 23 

It’s time to party with the Rabbi—Covid-style!  Congregants of all ages are invited to come schmooze with Billy while enjoying lunch or dinner (appropriately distanced and outdoors under an open-sided tent) from our fleet of food trucks set up in the temple parking lot.  We’ll have something for everyone during each of five time slots over the course of the day.  Enjoy coal-fired pizzas, middle eastern favorites, and down-home barbecue (with vegetarian and gluten free options, too!) plus beverages donated by DeCiccos and Captain Lawrence Brewery.   

Tickets are $36 pp for adults and $18 for children under 12. Make sure to sign up right away ( registration for this event opens on Wed, Apr 21) — spots are limited for each time slot.


More to Come— Save the Date!

Despite his best intentions, Billy won’t be riding off into the sunset quietly.  We plan on making a fuss over him until the very end.  Make sure to hold these dates and keep an eye out for updates when sign-ups are open.  

  • Coffee with the Rabbi—come spend a little quality time with Billy and a small group of others for a more intimate opportunity to reminisce.  We’ll be scheduling a series of gatherings both on the temple lawn and on Zoom between June 7 and 17.  Day and evening times will be offered.  Sign-ups will start in late May.
     
  • Tribute Shabbat, June 18—You won't want to miss Rabbi Billy’s penultimate Shabbat at Woodlands. We'll gather virtually on Facebook to share memories and hear tributes to Billy from Rabbi Mara, Cantor Lance, Cantor Jonathan, Corey Friedlander, and some special surprise guests.
     
  • Online Concert, June 19 — Billy loved Jonathan’s Coffeehouse Concert so much that he specifically requested an encore for his retirement.  We’ll gather on Facebook once again to share in Havdalah with the clergy team, followed by an all-star musical tribute to Billy Dreskin from many of his incredibly talented friends.
     
  • Billy’s Final Shabbat Service as Senior Rabbi of Woodlands Community Temple, June 25.  He’s in charge for one last time.  Make sure to join in online to share in this momentous occasion, the end of an era for Woodlands.
Sun, May 16 2021 5 Sivan 5781