Charlie Cytron-Walker became the new rabbi at Temple Emanuel in Winston-Salem, NC on July 1, 2022. Rabbi Charlie arrives at Temple Emanuel with a history of working to bring a sense of spirituality, compassion, and learning into the lives of the community. He loves finding a connection with people of every age and strives to welcome all who enter the congregation, from interfaith families to LGBT individuals and families to those seeking to find a spiritual home in Judaism, along with all others.
He previously served at Congregation Beth Israel (CBI) in Colleyville, TX since 2006. He was CBI’s first full-time rabbi. He developed positive relationships with local school districts and helped organized interfaith gatherings including numerous vigils, walks, and relationship building events. He is a past President of the Southwest Association of Reform Rabbis and served on the steering committee of Peace Together. In 2022, he was honored as a Hero Against Hate by the Texoma Anti-Defamation League and currently serves as a Special Advisor to the ADL. Learn more about Rabbi Charlie.
This prayer was written upon reflection of the one-year anniversary of January 15, 2022, when Rabbi Charlie and three congregants were held hostage by a gunman in the sanctuary of Congregation Beth Elohim in Colleyville, TX.
Were they people? Not to the Principal. Not even employees? They were more like digits, widgets, sprockets, more cogs on the command chain. (Joshua Cohen, The Book of Numbers, Oxford, 2014, p. 1.87) Incredulous. That's how I felt, after requesting and then learning my Uber passenger rating. You see, drivers get to rate and rank you too. "4.8! That's it?" I thought. "I've never been impolite or unfriendly. I never cancel a request after submitting one. What reason could there be for denying me a full five stars?" Once again, here was one small example of the many ways each of us is reduced to numbers as we go about our post-modern lives.