homepage logo

Bat Yam welcomes Interim Rabbi James L. Simon

By Staff | Sep 27, 2010

Earlier this week, Bat Yam Temple of the Islands announced the appointment of James L. Simon as Interim Rabbi.

Rabbi Simon comes to Bat Yam with 30 years experience as a rabbi, college professor, religious school teacher and pastoral counselor.

Oakland, Calif. is the city of his birth and youth, but he spent much of his life in the Midwest. After graduating from the University of California in Santa Barbara with a BA in Political Science, he went on to receive his Juris Doctorate (JD) from Hastings College of Law at U of C in San Francisco.

Fortunately for future congregations and students of Judaism, Rabbi Simon decided after a short time that the corporate legal world was not for him and he “retired” from the practice of law.

During this uncertain time in his life, he became more interested in Judaism and in working in the Jewish community. He soon found himself in Jerusalem as part of a first year class of Hebrew Union College rabbinic students. He now holds a Master of Arts degree in Hebrew Letters from Hebrew Union College-Institute of Religion in Los Angeles and was ordained at HUC in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Besides serving congregations in Merced and Los Angeles, Calif., Rabbi Simon also served in various capacities as rabbi in McGhee, Alaska; Ames, Iowa; St. Louis and Clayton, Mo.; Worcester, Mass.; and No. Miami Beach and Pinecrest, Fla. He is a published author of articles on the Torah, Jewish ethics, bioethics and religious education for the Union for Reform Judaism Press as well as Reform Judaism Magazine. He produced and edited the first draft of the Union of American Hebrew Congregation’s Business Ethics Manual.

In addition, Rabbi Simon is a Certified Family Mediator for Family and Divorce in the 11th Judicial Circuit Court of the State of Florida. Luckily for Temple Bat

Yam, which has been without a rabbi since January 2010, he recently completed training for certification as an Intentional Interim Rabbi by the Interim Ministry Network and the Central Conference of American Rabbis.

Rabbi Simon resides with his family in Miami. He will begin officiating at Sabbath services at Bat Yam on Nov. 5 and will lead the Saturday morning Hebrew, Torah study and Jewish History classes starting on Nov. 6.

The Rabbi and the members of Bat Yam are looking forward to a year of health and fulfillment, learning about each other and working toward Tikkun Olam, making the world a better place for all.

Bat Yam Temple meets every Friday night at 8 p.m. at Fellowship Hall of Sanibel Congregational Church, located at 2050 Periwinkle Way on Sanibel. For more information, call 395-1432.