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Temple Beth El celebrates Rabbi Joshua Hammerman’s years of service

STAMFORD – Rabbi Joshua Hammerman will be honored for his 30-plus years of service as spiritual leader of Temple Beth El (TBE) at a weekend celebration to be held at the Stamford synagogue June 14 through June 16.

Prior to his appointment in 1987 as assistant rabbi of Temple Beth El, Rabbi Hammerman was spiritual leader of a small congregation in Peekskill, New York, his first pulpit following his ordination. Seeking a challenge, and attracted by the large Jewish community in Stamford, he visited and, as he puts it, “fell in love with the people, who were unpretentious and positive, the area, which felt very ‘New England’ for this Boston boy, and the synagogue itself, especially the sanctuary and the windows.”

Since stepping up to become Beth El’s spiritual leader in 1992, Hammerman has focused on creating what he calls “an oasis of warmth, love and mutual respect” that he believes is vital for a modern congregation. As the synagogue’s rabbi, he embraces people of all backgrounds and faiths, and encourages inclusiveness in synagogue life. Programs he has implemented include Synaplex and Shabbat Unplugged.

Over the years, he has also been involved in numerous local and national organizations. Among his roles, he has served as president of the Interfaith Council of Southwestern Connecticut and the Stamford Board of Rabbis, as chaplain for the Stamford Police, and as a member of the pastoral advisory committee of Stamford Health Systems.

The weekend celebration honoring Rabbi Hammerman will begin on Thursday night, June 14, when the rabbi will be honoree at the TBE Cantor’s Concert led by Cantor Magda Fishman and featuring Cantor George Mordecai. The concert will be held at Temple Beth El, 7-9:30 p.m. Shabbat services on Saturday, June 16 will include Torah readings by TBE high school and college students, followed by a celebratory luncheon with musical entertainment and a presentation by TBE children. The luncheon is free of charge, however registration is required.

Carl Weinberg, President of TBE, says, “Rabbi Hammerman has been our spiritual mentor at Temple Beth El for many years, through our congregants’ good times and sad times. We are thrilled to have this celebration in his honor and everyone is welcome.”

For more information on these events, including ticket information to the June 14 concert, call (203) 322-6901 or e-mail office@tbe.org. Temple Beth El is located at 350 Roxbury Road in Stamford.

CAP: Rabbi Joshua Hammerman

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