Wednesday, July 12, 2006

New rabbi arrives from San Diego

Express Staff Writer

Rabbi Sheila Goloboy

Sheila Goloboy distractedly waved another car along last Thursday as she tried to leave room in front of her new Ketchum office for a large moving truck to arrive. The truck, when it finally arrived, carried 42 boxes of books and a car. This was no ordinary delivery.

Goloboy, an ebullient woman of 37, is here for an interim year while the Wood River Jewish Community search committee continues interviewing applicants for the permanent position of rabbi. She comes equipped with the minutiae of her scholarly life.

A graduate of Tufts University, The Hebrew Union in Israel and the Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, Goloboy comes directly from the Congregation Beth Israel in San Diego, where she worked for nine years. She replaced Rabbi Martin Levy, who left the valley after four years as the community's first rabbi.

"I came from a large congregation of about 5,000 people," Goloboy said. "I was one of two rabbis. But it gave me an opportunity of learning from full-time staff. It was perfect training. This is more like the congregation I grew up in. It will afford me an opportunity to get to know everyone better, to know faces and names."

After her ordination in 1997, she spent a year counseling at the Children's Hospital Medical Center. It's an experience she put to use at Beth Israel.

Among the aspects that attracted her to this position were Bald Mountain—she grew up in Massachusetts in a skiing family—and the communication she saw that existed between different clergy in the valley.

"Anything I can do to build up on it, it is certainly my hope (to do so). There is a lot of potential within this community for members and reaching out to Jews who aren't already associated with us."

This fall, she will introduce a three-part class, "Taste of Judaism."

"It's for Jews to increase their knowledge, Jews without the background, or even non-Jews who're just curious about what Judaism has to offer," she said.

"With programs like that we can reach out to families, kids, elementary school and middle school, We'll explore the education programs and add more adult classes with visiting scholars and speakers.

"My challenge is to begin making strong connections with the valley clergy, institutions, and my congregates and community. From there I'll be better able to identify long range goals."

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