Rabbi Samuel Klein is the new rabbi educator at Temple Israel in Columbus after a nationwide search by the temple’s search committee and board of directors.

Klein, a native of Champaign-Urbana, Ill., was ordained at Hebrew College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles, where he also earned his Masters of Arts in Hebrew letters. He also studied in Israel at the Hebrew Union College, Shalom Hartman Institute and in Tzfat at Livnot U’lehibanot.

As rabbi educator, Klein will be responsible for directing the religious school and overseeing the youth program and youth engagement. He previously served as religious school director at Kol Tikvah in Woodland Hills, Calif.

Both Rabbi Sharon Mars and Temple Israel’s Executive Director Jennah Scher lauded the hire.

“Temple Israel Columbus is blessed to have found Rabbi Sam Klein as our rabbi educator,” Mars said in a news release. “Sam’s wisdom and warmth are only exceeded by his love of education, community-building and the Jewish people. Rabbi Klein’s presence will maximize the temple’s clergy capacity and help bring us into our new home and this post-COVID chapter of our lives as a community.”

Scher said in the release, “Rabbi Klein embodies the best practices of 21st century Jewish education and rabbinic professionalism. We are delighted to have him as part of our clergy team at Temple Israel. He will help to broaden our work of melding Jewish tradition with modern practice.”

Klein said he is looking forward to starting and that he was grateful for the reception he has already received.

“Moving to Columbus sight unseen could have been an intimidating endeavor were it not for the incredibly warm reception by the Temple Israel professional team and community members,” Klein said in the release. “I am honored, blessed and thrilled to join them as rabbi educator and to meet each of our students in our new synagogue home as they return to religious school this fall.”


Sammi Fremont is the Clifford and Linda Wolf Editorial Intern.

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