CLERGY AND LITURGICAL STAFF
Rabbi: Neil Amswych
Rabbi Neil Amswych came to Santa Fe following nearly ten years as the principal rabbi of Bournemouth Reform Synagogue in England. He studied Astrophysics at St. Andrew’s University in Scotland before beginning his rabbinic education at Leo Baeck College. While spending his third year at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Philadelphia, he met his wife, Jenny, who was also a student there. They married in 2004 and have two beautiful children: a daughter, Zafra, and a son, Asher. They also have a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel called Parker and a scruffy stray called Pym making them a global family: an American Mum, a British Dad, dual-citizen children, and a Welsh dog and an American dog! Rabbi Neil’s rabbinic thesis was an exploration of bipolar gender boundaries and transsexual surgery in a Jewish context, a topic he has spoken on at the Temple and elsewhere. In 2007, he founded IDEA: Interfaith Dorset Education and Action, which became the South of England’s largest interfaith environmental network and for which he was nominated for a National Leadership Award.
He joined Temple Beth Shalom in the summer of 2014 and within a year became the President of the Interfaith Leadership Alliance of Santa Fe.
He was instrumental in organizing the 1500-person Rally Against Racism in the Plaza in the summer of 2017. Under his leadership, some communities in the ILA, including Temple Beth Shalom, housed homeless young adults during the winters of 2017 and 2018 to protect them from the cold and other dangers.
A keen environmentalist and also advocate for social justice, Rabbi Neil has spoken many times publicly against bills in the legislature that would have allowed for religious discrimination against LGBTQ individuals, plans by the local energy company to remain with coal and not invest in solar power, and also against the local Public Education Department’s plans to remove or minimize references to the age of the earth, to evolution and to anthropogenic climate change in the science curriculum. He regularly speaks on interfaith panels in various venues.
Rabbi Neil hosts a radio show called “Soul Searching” on the local radio station KSFR, in which he interviews local clergy and academics on the deeper questions of meaning. He believes that for Judaism to survive in the 21stcentury, it needs to develop an exciting new theology and praxis, and his work at Temple Beth Shalom is bringing that to the fore in engaging ways. A keen board game player, and avid fan of Star Wars, Rabbi Neil is also working on his first book regarding a very new approach to environmental theology.
If you would like to set up a meeting with Rabbi Neil, please call our office on 505-982-1376 or email
Interim Associate Rabbi: Rabbi Jenny Goldfried-Amwsych
Rabbi Jenny Goldfried Amswych began her journey to her rabbinic work in Santa Fe a long distance away, a professional dancer and choreographer in New York City, performing with the company Momentum, while also pursuing a degree in dance at Columbia University.
As an adjunct to her primary degree, she also enrolled in an elementary education certification program through her university, which led her to participate in student-teaching programs in the Bronx. There, she fell in love with teaching. Not only did she enjoy spending time with kids, but also was exposed to economic disparity and intergenerational traumas that opened her eyes to the possibility of a different future.
Fusing her Jewish upbringing with her continued exposure to economic and racial inequality and the seemingly endless ways this leads to personal, family and intergenerational tragedies and trauma and her consequent awakening sense of the vast world of social justice work, coupled with her love of teaching, propelled her into the world of rabbinics.
In 2001, then Student Rabbi Jenny entered the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College near Philadelphia, where she met her future husband, who was studying abroad. When it came time for Neil Amswych to return to London, she decided it was time to embark on her next adventure.
She fell in love again, this time with the UK, and ultimately graduated from the Leo Baeck College, getting engaged, then married, and stayed overseas for 11 years.
She officially became an ordained rabbi in July 2007 and went on to become an Associate Rabbi at Bournemouth Reform Synagogue on the south coast of England. She served in the role for about seven years alongside Rabbi Neil Amswych, who was the Principal Rabbi there.
In 2014, the couple moved to Santa Fe with their two kids, Asher and Zafra, so that Rabbi Neil could pursue rabbinical work specifically tied to social justice at TBS.Although Rabbi Jenny said she planned to be a full-time mom for a while after the move, an opportunity to serve as the synagogue’s interim preschool director opened up and seemed like a no-brainer. She stayed in the role for about two years and has continued to serve TBS in various ways since then. Rabbi Jenny is very excited to be on this new adventure as the Interim Associate Rabbi, engaging in work she loves in a community she loves. She never imagined she would get to do this kind of work here, and it truly feels like a dream come true!