Rabbi Lustig on medical leave from Washington Hebrew Congregation

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“It’s time for me to dance while I still can,” Rabbi M. Bruce Lustig told Washington Hebrew Congregation, in announcing he was taking medical leave following Yom Kippur.

Lustig, 63, has been rabbi at the Reform synagogue for 36 years.


He told his congregants during his Rosh Hashanah sermon that he is “in good health. I do not have a cold. I do not have cancer,” he said.

“What I do have is an opportunity to face a condition – that condition is that I’m a workaholic.

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Lustig said that he works obsessively and the only remedy is to “avoid the stress of running” the congregation.

“I will fulfill all my obligations,” he said. “If I promised to be at your wedding, I will be there.”


The rabbi will return to lead for high holiday sercices in 2022 and then retire as rabbi emeritus.

In the meantime, Rabbi Susan Shankman and Cantor Susan Bortnick, will lead the congregation, according to a statement from the congregation.

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