Nominated and written by Nathalie Meijer Beaubien, Former NCSYer
I first met Glenn Black even before he became a Rabbi (I believe). We met by chance, about 20 years ago. He ran the NCSY program after school and a friend of mine encouraged me to attend the program with her, telling me it was “fun,” that they discussed different topics related to Judaism, and that I would enjoy it. I was hesitant at first, but once I met Rabbi Black and had a change to get to know him in the weeks following, I was excited to continue participating in the program. Rabbi Black was kind, generous, engaging, and pushed me to think about things in a new light, no matter the topic. He allowed me to debate with him, all the while he never once raised his voice or told me my thinking was wrong. He was never judgemental, and was someone I came to truly trust, admire, and strive to be like.
Rabbi Black loved his work, he loved going to “bat” for his students, no matter what. If you were ever in any distress, he was there. If you needed anything, he was there. If you couldn’t afford to go on yet another Shabbaton, (as in my case) he made it happen and didn’t ask for anything in return. Everyone always wanted to be around Rabbi Black – he was fun to be with, and be around. He always had a joke to tell or a topic he wanted to discuss and debate.
Rabbi Black was a definite role model for me, I strived to learn as much as I could from him and gain as much knowledge I could about the topics we discussed, and use them in my everyday life. Like I said earlier, it’s been 20 years since I last saw Rabbi Black, but I can still picture his face, his voice, his tenacity and his dedication to his work. I hope the last 20 years have treated him well.