> Beth Am Rabbi


Karen Bookman Kaplan, Rabbi

Margaret Moers Wenig, Rabbi Emerita

Israel R. Margolies, Rabbi Emeritus, z’’l

We are delighted to welcome our new rabbi, Karen Bookman Kaplan, whose appointment is effective July 1, 2001. Rabbi Kaplan’s hiring was approved by the congregation at a special meeting on June 3, 2001.

Rabbi Kaplan was ordained by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1992, and has been a congregational rabbi for nine years. She comes to us from another synagogue coincidentally named: Beth Am, in Parsippany, NJ. Among her many accomplishments there are: composing a prayer book for monthly healing services; interfaith workshops, including those for both Jewish and Christian parents whose adult children marry outside of their families’ faiths; preparing many b’nai mitzvah; increasing membership; organizing interfaith AIDS memorial services; and invigorating congregational committees devoted to pastoral care and social action.

Rabbi Kaplan entered the rabbinate from a prior teaching career. She earned her Ph.D. in Linguistics at the University of Texas in 1984, and taught English at several colleges before matriculating at Hebrew Union College.

Rabbi Kaplan brings to Beth Am a unique combination of intellectual, spiritual and pastoral gifts. Beth Am members who attended the May 8th open Board meeting, at which Rabbi Kaplan led a brief shiur, had the opportunity to experience her abilities to listen actively and affirmatively, to teach and to engage a wide range of personalities and age groups.

Rabbi Kaplan is a person of broad learning and culture, with a keen appreciation for study, music, nature and travel. She was attracted to Beth Am by a kinship of values she experienced as she moved through the interview process: the familial inclusiveness and intimacy; the love of learning; the simultaneous commitment to ritual integrity and liturgical openness. These core values of our congregation will continue to flourish under her spiritual care

We look forward to a year of mutual enrichment and constructive challenge with our new rabbi.

We will miss Tamar Malino, who has taken a full time position at a synagogue in San Diego. We have good memories of the four happy, frustrating, challenging, demanding, and productive years she spent with us. 

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     Copyright © 2001 Beth Am. Last updated 7.4.2001.