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Thursday, August 4, 2011

SPIRITUALITY: Sonoma County Spiritual News

BBQ Dinner Welcomes Interim Rabbi to Beth Ami

Congregation Beth Ami in Santa Rosa will welcome Rabbi Joel Rembaum on August 12th at the annual “Barbecue and Barchu” dinner at 6 pm in the synagogue courtyard at 4676 Mayette Avenue. Rabbi Rembaum, Beth Ami’s new interim rabbi will lead the family Shabbat service at 7:30, followed by refreshments, dancing and live music by ZimZum. Tickets for the catered kosher barbecue chicken dinner are $14 for adult members, $18 for non-members, $7 for children 5-12 and free for children under 4. Call 707-360-3000 for reservations by August 9th.

Rabbi Rembaum, the emeritus rabbi of Temple Beth Am in Los Angeles, will serve as the interim rabbi at Beth Ami for the next year, while the congregation searches for a permanent rabbi. He will commute from Los Angeles two weekends a month, staying with members of the congregation from Thursday to Sunday. He will also lead services during the High Holy Days. When he is not at Beth Ami, visiting rabbis, including those who are candidates for the permanent position, will lead services, with occasional
lay leadership.

Rabbi Rembaum holds several degrees, including a Doctorate of Divinity from the Jewish Theological Seminary and a PhD in History from UCLA, and has received several graduate and research fellowships.

A noted Jewish scholar, he is the author of numerous articles in the field of Jewish history and has lectured widely throughout the United States. He served on the faculty of the American Jewish University for fifteen years, was a Visiting Assistant Professor at U.C.L.A. and U.C. Irvine, taught for the Wexner Heritage Foundation, and served on the faculty of the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies.

As a member of the Rabbinical Assembly Committee on Jewish Law and Standards for twenty years, Rabbi Rembaum participated in a number of decisions that have made the Conservative movement of Judaism more inclusive and egalitarian. He authored the paper that served as the basis for including the Biblical Matriarchs (Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah) in the Amidah prayer, the central element of Jewish liturgy. This has been widely accepted in the Conservative community and included in the movement’s prayer books.

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