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A YOUNG SPIRITUAL LEADER AND HIS COMMUNITY FACE AN EMOTIONAL CRISIS AND A TEST OF FAITH. On November 1, 1994, Cherry Hills, New Jersey was rocked by the murder of Carol Neulander, wife of Senior Rabbi Fred Neulander of Congregation M’kor Shalom. Allegations of Neulander’s sexual improprieties were followed by his emergence as a suspect in his wife’s murder. Associate Rabbi Gary Mazo, just 4 years out of seminary and barely embarked on his career, found himself responsible for leading a 4000-member synagogue. Somehow, he had to find a way for his community to overcome their shock, heal their pain and renew their faith.
This concise, eloquently-written book relates Rabbi Mazo’s journey through storms of a magnitude he never expected to face. Crisis reveals character. Despite his youth and lack of experience, despite advice from colleagues to leave the perilous situation, he made the commitment to stay and bring healing to his community.
Adding to the complexity and the burden he faced, Fred Neulander had been Rabbi Mazo’s mentor--the man he most admired and wanted to work for. This part of Mazo’s inner struggle is not yet over: the Camden County District Attorney has upgraded the charges against Neulander to capital murder, meaning a death sentence is possible if he is found guilty. Mazo expects to be called as both a prosecution and a defense witness when the trial starts early in 2001.
The title of the book refers to Moses finding God’s word in a desert bush that was burning, yet somehow not consumed by the flames. The metaphor brought him hope: yes, flames may surround us; but they don’t have to consume us.
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We were privileged to have the opportunity to publish Rabbi Gary Mazo's careful account of this tragic event and its effect on the Congregation M’kor Shalom. It truly is a "care full" work, and an important learning opportunity for others. The reader can easily insert their own experience with fallen leaders and learn much from how Rabbi Mazo guided this congregation from disillusionment back to the sense of purpose that brought them together in the first place. Rising Star PressFrom the Back Cover:
"Gary Mazo offers a powerful narrative of a faith community’s time of trial. Though tormented by the murder of his senior rabbi’s wife, he led his bereaved congregation with understanding, patience and compassion. I couldn’t put it down, and read it in one day."
--Rabbi Rifat Sonsino, co-author of "Finding God" and "What Happens After I Die"
"Rabbi Mazo’s personal and professional pilgrimage as he sought healing for his shattered community is a story of great struggle and profound faith."
--Stephen R. Treat, DMin, Director and CEO, Penn Council for Relationships
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Book Description Rising Star Pr, 2000. Paperback. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110933670060