Two Washington-area congregations announced they have hired new rabbis to succeed two retiring rabbis who, between them, have served more than 60 years.
Rabbi Chana Leslie Glazer will join Congregation Adat Reyim, an unaffiliated synagogue in Springfield. She’ll begin her tenure on July 1, after Rabbi Bruce Aft retires on June 30.
At Temple Emanuel in Kensington, Rabbi Adam Rosenwasser will succeed the retiring Rabbi Warren Stone.
Glazer is the chaplain for Jewish community at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pa., a role in which she is campus rabbi, Hillel adviser, and director of Jewish Life. Glazer received her rabbinic ordination and master’s degree from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and studied at The Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem.
Earlier, she worked as a journalist, mostly covering Latin America and the Caribbean.
“Rabbi Glazer is an excellent fit for our congregation, embodying the values our members identified for our next rabbi, including compassion and caring, engaging spiritual leadership, an inspiring educator, and a commitment to collaboration in our highly participatory congregation,” Adat Reyim’s co-president, Rebecca Geller, said in a statement.
Rosenwasser is an associate rabbi of Temple Sinai in Washington, which he joined in 2014. He is a member of the Reform movement’s Central Conference of American Rabbis. He is also the first married gay rabbi in Washington.
In its search for a successor to Stone, who came to Temple Emanuel 32 years ago, congregants determined that they wanted a rabbi who was a leader, a relationship builder, and someone who would encourage the congregation to lead itself, too.
According to Temple Emanuel’s president, Bill Epstein, after considering 24 applications “from around the world — I mean, Israel, France, the Caribbean, South America, quite a range of qualified candidates — Rabbi Rosenwasser was just the right fit for us.”
Congregation Adat Reyim spent two years searching for their next rabbi. In the first year, guest rabbis of different styles came to lead services. Based on feedback from congregants, the search committee created a job description.
In the second year they considered some 35 applications, held eight interviews, called references, and invited three finalists to, according to Eileen Kugler, former president and a member of the search committee.
Aft, who has led Adat Reyim for nearly 30 years, was the congregation’s first full-time rabbi. He led annual trips with the March of the Living and brought the Northern Virginia interfaith community together. Aft will continue as rabbinic adviser to the George Mason University Community Hillel Board.
Stone will retire from Temple Emanuel on June 30. Known as the “climate rabbi,” Stone is a national leader on religion and the environment.
“He brought visibility, he was highly evolved with environmental efforts, and he encouraged the temple to take ownership of itself in many ways,” said Epstein.
Plans to honor the retiring rabbis are uncertain, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Adat Reyim is planning a virtual honor ceremony the weekend of June 5 and 6. Temple Emanuel is considering moving its in-person celebrations to next year, but the congregation has invited congregants to send email farewells.
Carolyn Conte is a reporter for Baltimore Jewish Times, an affiliated publication of Washington Jewish Week.