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About Our Rabbi - Ariel Edery

Rabbi Ariel Edery

I grew up in Argentina, in a family that was very involved in Jewish life. My father was a rabbi, my mother was a Jewish educator, and my siblings were engaged in the Jewish community and Zionist youth organizations. I was active in my congregation, went daily to a supplemental religious school after public school, often led services, was part of a youth group, and worked in the congregation as a madrich for younger children.

After high school, I decided to move to Israel and study at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. I lived, studied, and worked there for seven years, during which I obtained my BA in International Relations and in General Studies in Humanities. More importantly, there I met Andrea, my first wife, and together we moved to Mexico City, where we lived for the next five years working as Jewish educators. Andrea taught the toddlers in the day school, while I taught middle and high school classes in a Jewish day school. Once again, I became involved in my congregation, assuming several roles. This led me (and Andrea, and our five-month-old twins, Eyal and Maaian) to move again to join the Rabbinic School at Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio.

I learned and enjoyed serving different congregations throughout the Midwest as a Student Rabbi. But, being a Spanish speaker, I was encouraged to serve in a Spanish-speaking country, where Reform Judaism is still small and in need of help. So, after four years in Cincinnati, after I obtained the Masters of Arts in Hebrew Letters and the Rabbinic Ordination, our family moved to Spain. There, I became the rabbi of the country’s first and sole Reform congregation in Barcelona.

In Barcelona, we had three intense years of great experiences, with challenges, growth, good friendships, and several goals met. But we decided that the family life we wanted, the Jewish life we wanted, and the professional life we wanted were best found with a certain type of congregation and social environment back in the USA.

In 2004, the five of us (now with Dylan) settled in Holly Springs, North Carolina, as I became Beth Shalom’s rabbi. Here, we found a congregation, which shared our goal: to create a warm community in which Judaism is explored, learned, lived and enjoyed. Very importantly, we found a congregation which shared our approach and priorities for doing this a congregation with an open mind and welcoming attitude, aware and appreciative of our diverse backgrounds that focused on our common goals; a congregation with an understanding that a congregation and community are built and sustained by each of us making personal commitments and becoming personally involved, each in our own ways and according to our abilities.

Rabbi Edery leading services at Simchat Torah 

Beth Shalom has a vision, which is also my vision: To live with tradition, education, community,religion, and Mitzvah; to add meaning and purpose to our life; to connect with nature, people, community, and God.

I have varied personal interests, which include archeology and ancient history, Mediterranean food, nature, science, soccer, world music, and writing. I enjoy being a rabbi because, in addition to all that I have already mentioned, it also allows me and encourages me to be permanently engaged with people of all ages and all styles. Just as you now know a little about me, I look forward to knowing a little about you. My door is always open, and I will be glad if you stop by to say “hello” at any time. And I hope you find being involved and part of our congregation as rewarding as I do.

Wed, August 12 2020 22 Av 5780