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Bat Yam rabbi to address South African congregation

By BAT YAM - | Feb 25, 2021

PHOTO PROVIDED Rabbi Stephen Lewis Fuchs

Rabbi Stephen Fuchs, of the Bat Yam Temple of the Islands on Sanibel, has been invited by Rabbi Julia Margolis, of the Bet Luria Synagogue in Johannesburg, South Africa, to lead a study session entitled “The Golden Calf Still Lives in our Communities.”

According to Bat Yam, the golden calf in Exodus represents the greed and self-centeredness in the world. It worships the calf each time one’s relentless pursuit of material gain thwarts one’s interest in making a positive difference in the lives of others.

Fuchs is the former president of the World Union for Progressive Judaism and rabbi emeritus of the Congregation Beth Israel in West Hartford, Connecticut. From 2014-19, he and his wife spent several weeks in Germany, where they taught about the Shoah in German high schools. Fuchs also taught in synagogues, offered a seminar for rabbinical and cantorial students at the Abraham Geiger College in Berlin, and spoke in over two dozen churches, most which had never before invited a rabbi to speak.

Fuchs has also delivered several addresses at Kristallnacht commemorations in Leipzig, the city where his late father, Leo Fuchs, was born, grew up and was arrested on the fateful night on Nov. 9, 1938.

Fuchs is the author of six books, of which “And Often the First Jew” focuses on the work he and his wife did in Germany. Fuchs earned a Doctor of Ministry from the Vanderbilt University’s Divinity School in Tennessee, which honored him in 2017 with its Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award.