As many of us in the Albuquerque Jewish community are aware (see Wanna Be Our Rabbi?), B'nai Israel has for months been working with the Conservative Movement's Rabbinical Assembly to identify and secure the future services of a "new" rabbi.
The Rabbinic Search Committee devoted - and devoted is the correct term here - countless hours to achieve the best results for B'nai Israel.
In March, B'nai Israel invited three (3) rabbinic candidates to visit Albuquerque, experience firsthand the Land of Enchantment, and try out for the CBI Rabbi position.
Earlier this week, the Rabbinic Search Committee informed the congregation that not one (zero zilch nada effes klum) of the rabbinic candidates who had been offered the position had accepted.
Shaken but stirred to action, the Committee immediately began the search for an Interim Rabbi.
And then Maestro Rabbenu Placido Domingo called.
As we all surely remember, last year Maestro Rabbenu helped lead B'nai Israel's Second Seder. He also davened Musaf on the first two days of the Passover holiday.
And as much as we loved him, he loved us.
We learned last year that Placido Domingo was born to a prominent Sephardi family in Madrid, Spain. He lived and learned in Israel for many years - his children are sabras - and then moved to Teaneck, New Jersey.
It was in Teaneck ("the Brooklyn of New Jersey") that Maestro Rabbenu completed his studies and received (private) rabbinic ordination within the Conservative Movement.
Placido Domingo has, according to some estimates, a net worth of somewhere in the neighborhood of $200 million. He has agreed to serve as B'nai Israel's Interim Rabbi for the sum of $1. Says Maestro Rabbenu:
"You've got to have rachmones on the congregation.
I'll be happy to work for $1 and the kavod."
The return of Maestro Rabbenu in this new capacity is seen as the first step of a major transformation of Congregation B'nai Israel, the only* Conservative synagogue in the State of New Mexico.
* The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (USCJ) has welcomed HaMakom in Santa Fe on its Facebook page. Abq Jew has not been able to independently confirm this wonderful news.
As he did last year, Maestro Rabbenu will again help lead B'nai Israel's Second Seder. He will also daven Musaf on the first two days of the Passover holiday.
And this year, Maestro Rabbenu will also MC and perform in From Madrid to Madrid, a traditional Mimouna celebration (at the end of Passover), to be held at (where else?) the Mine Shaft Tavern in Madrid, New Mexico.
Abq Jew reminds his loyal readers to celebrate