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Yom Rishon, 4 Tishri 5778
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Rabbi Leah Berkowitz

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Rabbi Leah Berkowitz has served as associate rabbi of Judea Reform Congregation in Durham, North Carolina, and taught at Gann Academy, a pluralistic Jewish high school in Waltham, MA. She grew up in suburban Philadelphia, where she developed a special love for Jewish music. Her summers at the Union for Reform Judaism Camp Harlam cemented her commitment to “Living Judaism,” a faith that can be infused into every aspect of one’s life, not just practiced in a synagogue.

After earning her B.A. in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies and Journalism from Brandeis University, Rabbi Berkowitz was ordained in 2008 at HUC-JIR in NYC, where she also earned an M.A. in Religious Education. She is currently on the board of the Women’s Rabbinic Network, and is a strong supporter of interfaith and social justice activities.  When not writing or on the pulpit, she participates in live storytelling events and loves reading, music and theater.

Rabbi Berkowitz is eager to create multiple points of entry for anyone who wants to explore Judaism or reinvent their Jewish lives.  She believes there is a place in Judaism for people of all ages, genders, orientations, and backgrounds, as well as families of every shape, size and composition, and looks forward to working with the Vassar Temple leadership to launch a “Revolution of Ruach (Spirituality)” by discovering new ways to engage members in worship, learning, community building, and the pursuit of justice.

 
Twitter/Instagram: @RabbiLRB 
Facebook: RabbiLeah Berkowitz 
Links:
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Read Rabbi Berkowitz's Letter to the Community

Check out Rabbi Berkowitz's First YouTube Greeting

Rabbi's detailed background

2/8/2016 "You Leading You" podcast:  Leadership In Faith And Life With Rabbi Leah Berkowitz

 


Rabbi Paul Golomb, Senior Scholar

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Rabbi Paul Golomb was Vassar Temple Rabbi from 2000 to 2015.  He is an outstanding teacher for students of all ages and always available for our congregants. He enjoys being involved in congregational life and interacting with our members and their children. In addition to serving as our regular spiritual leader, Rabbi Golomb conducts moving services in times of both sorrow and joy. 

He was ordained from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1975, where he earned honors in Midrash and Human Relations. After his ordination, Rabbi Golomb directed Hillel Foundations at Ohio State University and the University of Buffalo and served as an officer of the Association of Hillel and Jewish Campus Professionals. 

From 1986 to 1991 Rabbi Golomb served as Associate Rabbi for a congregation in Illinois where he was a leader in interfaith affairs and Black-Jewish dialogue. From 1991 to 1996 he was Senior Rabbi at a congregation in Connecticut where he enhanced programming for children, families and seniors. For four years preceding his arrival at Vassar Temple in 2000 he worked as Executive Director of the Canadian Council for Reform Judaism of the Union for Reform Judaism and as Director of ARZA (Association of Reform Zionists of America) Canada and leader of the Centre for Liberal Jewish Learning in Toronto. He guided member congregations in their long term planning and established the first Union camp for Jewish youth in Canada. 

Always active in the education of Jewish children and adults, Rabbi Golomb has published articles in numerous journals of Jewish and general interest including the Journal of Reform Judaism and the CCAR Journal. Rabbi Golomb is a respected lecturer on Jewish thought and has been an adjunct faculty member, Department of Philosophy, Western Connecticut State University and Religious Studies Department, State University of New York at Buffalo. (Read his essays through the link on this website.) 

Since coming to Poughkeepsie, Rabbi Golomb has been active in the general community as well as in the local Jewish community. He served as president of the Dutchess County Interfaith Council, is a leader of the local clergy, and served on the Dutchess County Human Rights Commission. 

Now in his retirement, Senior Scholar Rabbi Golomb will continue to offer Talmud and other Adult Education classes.  Rabbi Golomb and his wife Debbie continue to reside in Poughkeepsie.

 


Rabbi Emeritus Stephen A. Arnold

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Rabbi Stephen A. Arnold served as Rabbi at Vassar Temple from 1975 until his retirement in 1996 and is now our Rabbi Emeritus. He is warmly remembered for many things, including the "Shimon the Shulmouse" stories with which he charmed young and old alike. 

He was ordained at Hebrew Union College in 1961 after doing post-graduate work in Anthropology and Sociology, and took numerous courses and workshops in family therapy and clinical pastoral education. 

Rabbi Arnold has served on the Central Conference of American Rabbis Executive Board, on two commissions of the UAHC (now the URJ), the UJA Rabbinic Advisory Council and on many other Jewish communal Committees as well as more recently serving as president of the National Association of Retired Reform Rabbis. His service to the general community has included chairmanships of the Dutchess County Clergy Association, Interfaith HIV/AIDS Chaplaincy and Literacy Volunteers, and membership on boards of Clergy Advisory of Planned Parenthood, the Human Rights Commission, the Interfaith Council, Hospice and the Mental Health Association. He was a star participant in the annual CROP Walk for Hunger. 

Rabbi Arnold and his wife Cecile now live in Massachusetts but they continue to join us at Vassar Temple for special occasions and they are still considered very much a part of our Temple family.