Temple Beth Shalom has found its next Rabbi!
We are excited to announce that the Search Committee has completed the selection process and chosen our next Rabbi, Neil Amswych, who will join our congregation on July 22, 2014. He and his family come to us from England and he is eager to take the torch of leadership from Rabbi Schwab who will retire on June 30, 2014, after 13 wonderful years.
Rabbi Amswych visited Santa Fe for three days in July. He spent time speaking with staff members, and led a study session for the Board of Trustees and members of the Search Committee. He found it no challenge to engage, teach and entertain this diverse group. The Board agreed that Rabbi Amswych is an energetic and charismatic man with a natural ability to inspire congregants of all ages and levels of Judaic knowledge. We were unanimous in accepting the Search Committee’s recommendation to hire Rabbi Amswych.
I think it is fair to say that Rabbi Amswych is as enamored of us as we are of him. One of the many things that attracted him to Temple Beth Shalom (besides our climate) is our commitment to social justice and the work Rabbi Schwab has done to develop and nurture the Interfaith Leadership Alliance of Santa Fe. We are delighted to know that Rabbi Amswych will continue this vital work.
In July of 2014 you will have an opportunity to see what all the fuss is about. It is my hope that Temple Beth Shalom will welcome Rabbi Amswych and his amazing family with open arms and open hearts.
President, Temple Beth Shalom Board of Trustees
A Word from Rabbi Schwab
How does one measure the success, and the strength of an institution? One way is to look at how it deals with transition. In the case of a synagogue, clergy transitions can represent true milestones as we move from generation to generation. For Temple Beth Shalom, in its 60th year, an orderly change in rabbinic leadership is a symbol of the continued strength,dynamism and maturity of our congregation.
The search committee has conducted itself with great sensitivity and professionalism. From among the many candidates that applied, they have chosen a rabbi with the strength, vision, and energy to lead TBS so that our values will be maintained and new programs will provide even more value to our community. I truly cannot think of a better way to close out my "Bar Mitzvah" year at Temple Beth Shalom.
I had the opportunity to spend over an hour on the phone with Rabbi Amswych and found him to be very bright, personable and warm. In short he seems to be a wonderful "match" for our congregation. I look forward to supporting his rabbinate here in any way that he may request.
Over these years you have been a wonderful congregation, treating both Janet and me with warmth and kindness. I hope that you will open your arms to Rabbi Amswych and his family as you have done for us. With his leadership I feel that the next 60 years for Temple Beth Shalom will be the best that we have ever seen.
Rabbi Marvin Schwab
Meet Rabbi Amswych (and family)
I can’t tell you how overjoyed I am to be writing this
little bio. What can I tell you about myself in so few
words? I studied Astrophysics at St. Andrew’s University in Scotland (Prince William apparently followed me there) before becoming a youth-worker for two years. I then studied at the Leo Baeck College and in my third year I took a year at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Philadelphia where I met Jenny who was also studying there. I wooed her with my English accent and we married in 2004. My Rabbinic thesis looked at bipolar gender boundaries and transsexual surgery in a Jewish context.
In 2005 I became the Principal Rabbi of Bournemouth Reform Synagogue and have been there for eight years. Jenny and I have two children – our daughter Zafra who just turned 3 and our son Asher who’s coming up on 1 – and we also have a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel called Parker. A global family, we have an American Mum, a British Dad, dual-citizen children and a Welsh dog.
In 2007 I founded IDEA: Interfaith Dorset Education and Action, now the South’s largest interfaith environmental network. When I’m not with the family, working, cycling, or geeking out to Star Wars, I spend time trying to finish my first book on a new aspect of Jewish theology.
I cannot tell you how honoured (or should that now be honored?) I am to be joining such a wonderful community. I had a very moving time at TBS for a couple of days in July, I’m sure that we will all enjoy many joyous years together and I really hope to meet you soon.
Rabbi Neil Amswych
Finding a match
This announcement ends ten months of hard work by your search committee. At the end of last year you told us your vision for the future of Temple Beth Shalom. In Rabbi Neil we have found the spiritual leader who can help us get there.
Our rigorous process included repeated interviews and detailed reference checks. At every stage Rabbi Neil impressed the search committee with his warmth, scholarship, and inspirational leadership. He was our unanimous choice.
I’d like to thank my eleven fellow committee members for putting their dedication to the future of TBS into action with hours of reviewing resumes, interviewing, checking references and, of course, attending meetings.
Rebecca Entwisle, Chair of the Rabbi Search Committee