My Auto-Ethnography Analysis

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My auto-ethnography encompassed a three-day stretch (Thursday afternoon to Saturday afternoon) in which I visited Boston to help celebrate my rabbi’s installation as the first woman rabbi in New England’s largest Reform Jewish Synagogue (Temple Israel of Boston). As points-of-reference: this particular rabbi was also the person who oversaw my conversation to Judaism and was particular influential with guidance during some very rough life events. Also, I have remain in close contact with both the Temple (as an institution) and its congregation (as a common group and subculture). For example, I will be traveling up there again later on in the year to do some teaching. So this return to Boston - the same city/region where I did my undergrad and…show more content…
Although I spent most of the morning and afternoon engaged with schoolwork, it was impossible not to feel a growing excitement. The event at the Temple was an emotional milestone – not only for the installation itself (which made both local and nationwide news) but for my own return, as I hadn’t been back for a year. Few knew I would be there, so my arrival was met by surprise and heartfelt fondness. Each individual meeting with friends, acquaintances and clergy came accompanied by deep emotional tugs. Indeed, by the time I could talk to the now-senior rabbi I was nearly at a loss for coherent speech. (That was okay, though; her smile told me she understood everything I was not saying). I wanted to talk more, have another coffee with each and every old friend, stay swimming within these powerful and powerfully emotional eddies and currents. My last day started out with a vigorous Torah study (one of the aspects the Temple is known for) and then lunch with another old friend who had one more surprise for me – on an impulse, he was leaving his longtime job, apartment and the congregation to move in with his boyfriend across the country in San Francisco. Not within a year or even months but in the next 4 weeks. I was stunned (and apparently showed it with a very poor ‘poker face’). So a sense of loss along with small quiet heartbreaks were my traveling companions back down to Connecticut and across the waters of the
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