Thomas Wolfe may have believed that “you can’t go home again” but Rabbi Sharon Sobel has set upon a course to prove him wrong.
Rabbi Sobel is the newly-arrived or “settled” rabbi at Temple Beth Am, located at 300 Pleasant Street, in Framingham.
At her first Friday evening Shabbat Service on July 7, she pointed to memorial plaques on the walls of the sanctuary, explaining that her family is well-represented there. She told of the many times she joined with the congregation, when just a young girl, on holidays and for bar and bat mitzvahs and pointed out her mother’s first cousin, who was in attendance.
She remarked that July 7 was the first time she was the leader of the service, having always been a member of the congregation. In a sense, she has come home again, and she was welcomed back by about 200 members and guests who attended the service.
Rabbi Sobel looks forward to many years leading this energetic Reform synagogue comprised of hundreds of families, of all age ranges, in the Metrowest community. She
brings with her a wealth of experience, most recently at a synagogue in Stony Brook, NY, and not long ago at a synagogue in Westborough, MA.
Sobel served as Executive Director of the Union for Reform Judaism’s Canadian Council for Reform Judaism and ARZA Canada for over 9 years. Later, as Judaic
Consultant for the York Region of the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto, she was responsible for developing and enhancing spiritual life in the York region, the fastest growing Jewish population in all of North America.
The Sacred Feminine, a Canadian national television documentary program, included an episode about Rabbi Sobel’s rabbinate. She has been recognized for her writing, teaching, lectures, and workshops all over North America. Rabbi Sobel has extensive training in leadership development, long-range and strategic planning, organizational behavior, and working with congregations in transition. She also has expertise in the area of bio-medical ethics and Jewish law. She has traveled extensively on behalf of the Reform movement in both South Africa and the former Soviet Union.
Rabbi Sobel is a multi-faceted person, with varied interests. A cycling and fitness enthusiast, she has participated for many years in the Israeli Reform Movement’s Riding4Reform bike ride in Israel – raising the most funds of any participant every year. She has also recently completed running her second half-marathon.
She views food as a catalyst for creating community and views her table as a “mikdash m’at – a miniature alter”, a place where the holy and the ordinary come together.
The daughter of a Reform rabbi (Rabbi Richard J. Sobel), she was ordained from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York in May, 1989, and received her undergraduate degree in mass communications from Boston University’s School of Public Communications.
The members of Temple Beth Am of Framingham are excited to begin this new chapter in their history under the leadership of Rabbi Sharon Sobel, and hope to be joined by many new members who will further enrich our community.
If you are interested in attending a service or meeting Rabbi Sobel, please call our office at 508-872- 8300 or check out our web site: www.tempbetham.org.