Salem’s Beth Sholom hires rabbi
By Jewish Review
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Rabbi James Greene became the new rabbi of Temple Beth Sholom in Salem July 15.
Greene succeeds Rabbi David Kominsky who served the congregation for the past year while the Reconstructionist congregation searched for a permanent rabbi to replace Rabbi Gary Ellison, who resigned June 30, 2007.
Greene graduated from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in June. He and his wife Jen are expecting their first child soon.
“Neither Jen or I had lived in the Northwest, but we were looking for the right congregation to serve and Salem was the right community,” said Greene, who prefers to be called Rabbi James by his congregants.
“Salem is a warm, caring community deeply committed to being present for each other—that’s something I value,” he said.
Additionally, he pointed to the fact TBS is the only full-service synagogue in Salem and thus must be open to Jews from all backgrounds and orientations.
“We are forced to be like Abraham and Sarah’s tent—open on all sides,” he said. “I find that valuable. The values that are required in that kind of congregation are the kind of values I want to bring to the congregation I serve.”
Before beginning rabbinic school, Greene earned a bachelor’s in Holocaust and Judaic Studies from Florida Atlantic University. He spent a semester abroad at Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 2002. He also spent two years studying music education/saxaphone performance at the Kansas City Conservatory of Music.
During his studies Greene served six congregations as a rabbinic intern, high holiday rabbi or cantor, or sabbatical rabbi.
He has developed curriculum and taught courses for preschool through high school as well as adults and families. He was the director of education and director of music last summer at Camp JRF.
The community is invited to meet Greene at TBS’s annual neighborhood ice cream social at 1 p.m., Sept. 14, at the synagogue, 1274 Cunningham Lane S., Salem.