Temple Israel of Ottawa has announced that Rabbi S. Robert Morais will become the Reform congregation’s new spiritual leader on July 6. He will succeed Rabbi Norman Klein who has been acting as interim spiritual leader since Rabbi Steven Garten – Temple Israel’s rabbi emeritus – retired last year.
Rabbi Morais is a native of Toronto and graduated from York University before earning his rabbinic ordination at Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion. He comes to Temple Israel after serving as spiritual leader of Temple Beth Israel in Jackson, Michigan. He previously held positions at several other congregations including serving on the team of clergy at Temple Israel in suburban Detroit, the largest Reform congregation in the world.
The rabbi also has also served as executive director for the Hillel branches at colleges in the Rochester, New York area and director of the Jewish children’s museum at the Jewish Community Center of Metropolitan Detroit.
“I am very excited to have been selected as your next rabbi,” Rabbi Morais said in a message to Temple Israel congregants. “Ottawa has an incredible Jewish community and I am looking forward to beginning our sacred journey together. I am eager to begin getting to know everyone at Temple Israel. Together we will chart a new course for Temple, one that will take us on a journey of prayer, education, life cycle events and programs that are all filled with the richness and joy of Judaism.”
Rabbi Morais will be joined in Ottawa by his wife, Rochelle, and their four children, aged 10 to 18.
An interview with Rabbi Morais will be featured in an upcoming issue of the Ottawa Jewish Bulletin.