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Category Archives: Temple Judea
(Fort Myers, –October 13, 2011) — Temple Judea will install its new spiritual leader, Rabbi Elyssa Joy Auster, and its Board of Trustees during a series of celebratory events Nov. 3 – 5, 2011, which are open to the community.
Temple Judea is hosting Rabbi Andrew Hahn (the ‘Kirtan Rabbi’) for a participatory music program on Nov. 3, 2011 at 7:00 pm. Kirtan Rabbi is one of a new breed of cutting-edge, artist-rabbis whose joyful music and teachings address the deepest longings of the 21st century. He unites celebration of Torah and song in a way that allows people of all ages (and faiths) to discover renewed energy within their Jewish or spiritual practice. A long time martial arts instructor with a doctorate in Jewish philosophy, Rabbi Hahn laces his simple, alluring chants with meditation techniques and traditional learning.
Rabbi Hahn received rabbinic ordination from Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion and earned a Ph.D. from the Jewish Theological Seminary, both in New York City. He has released two musical CDs. For more information on Kirtan Rabbi and Hebrew Kirtan (including a video), go to www.KirtanRabbi.com.
On the following day, Nov. 4, 2011, the Temple will host joyous and celebratory Shabbat dinner catered by Il Pomodoro preceding services and the installation ceremony. Dinner begins at 5:45 pm and services begin at 7:30 pm.
Special guest Rabbi Dan Judson, Placement Consultant at the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College, will officiate the installation of both Rabbi Auster in her position with Temple Judea and the new members of the Board of Trustees.
Prior to his work at the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College, Rabbi Judson served for ten years as the spiritual leader at Temple Beth David in Canton, Mass. In 2003, he was the Daniel Jeremy Silver Fellow at Harvard University. He has co-authored a number of books on Jewish rituals, including The Rituals and Practices of a Jewish Life: A Handbook for Personal Spiritual Renewal and The Jewish Pregnancy Book: A Resource for the Soul, Body and Mind During Pregnancy, Birth, and the First Three Months. His articles on Jewish history have appeared in the American Jewish Archives Journal.
Morning services will be held on Nov. 5 at 9:30 am and will be followed by a special Kiddush luncheon. After services, Rabbi Judson will also present a family education program entitled, “Why We Do What We Do: An Exploration of the Meaning of Jewish Rituals”.
Reservations are required. Prices vary, children under 12 are free. For reservations or more information about attending all of these events, please contact Temple Judea at (239) 433-0201.
Temple Judea welcomes Rabbi Elyssa Auster on July 15th.
Friday night services at 7:30pm
Saturday morning services at 9:00am.
(FORT MYERS, Fla. July 14, 2011) – Temple Judea, an egalitarian Conservative synagogue in Fort Myers, welcomes its new Rabbi July 15th. Rabbi Elyssa Auster, 29, received her Rabbinic Ordination and Masters of Jewish Education from Hebrew College this June. She also received a Masters in Theological Studies at Boston University. She received a B.A. with Honors at Brandeis University in European Cultural Studies and Latin American Studies.
Auster has worked as an educator, rabbinic intern, and cantor in Massachusetts, Illinois, Ohio, and Alaska. She spent three years as Acting Rabbi of Congregation Or HaTzafon in Fairbanks, Alaska, the northernmost synagogue in the Western Hemisphere. She spent two years as rabbinic intern at Temple Beth El in Sudbury, Massachusetts. And she just finished a six year program at the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College in Newton, Massachusetts. In her final year there, Auster was working at MetroWest Jewish Day School learning educational administration and teaching 5th/6th grade.
In her position as Rabbi of Temple Judea, Auster will lead approximately 200 households and provide directorial guidance to its preschool, after hour’s religious school and adult education classes.
Auster said her main goal for her new congregation is simple, “For people to feel ownership of their relationship with Judaism and to be able to express their unique sensibilities of spirituality in the context of community.”
Temple Judea’s President Keith Grossman said after a year-long search the temple community is excited to welcome Rabbi Auster. “She brings incredible enthusiasm and creativity developed from a wide variety of experiences. With Rabbi Auster’s spiritual leadership, we anticipate joyous growth and vision for the only Conservative synagogue in Lee & Charlotte Counties.”
Auster also works as an artist in multiple mediums. She creates colorful and unique tallitot and tzitzit. She’s also an accomplished painter, whose work can be seen on her own website, elyssajoyauster.com.
Temple Judea is affiliated with the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism. It’s located at 14486 A&W Bulb Road in Fort Myers, Florida. www.tjswfl.org