Joshua Caruso has been a member of the Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple clergy team since 2002. His greatest joy is serving the Jewish people, and he is grateful for the opportunity to do so at our congregation. During his ten years with this synagogue, Rabbi Caruso has provided compassionate counsel to countless temple members. He has officiated at baby namings, b’nai mitzvah, weddings, and funerals, and feels privileged to share these and other sacred moments with our congregants.
He has helped broaden congregant participation by developing such varied programs as our Green Team, Adult B’nai Mitzvah program, and Chanukah Mitzvah Day. Committed to outreach, he has facilitated programs for our interfaith families. In addition to his rabbinic responsibilities, Rabbi Caruso served as the Director of Fairmount Temple’s Religious School, comprised of over four hundred students, from 2007-2009.
Rabbi Caruso’s passion for expanding Fairmount Temple’s engagement with the larger community led him to develop our annual Martin Luther King Weekend in cooperation with Trinity Episcopal Cathedral. He co-leads the annual Fairmount Temple Interfaith Seder, in which hundreds of people of all faiths from across our region participate. Every other year, he leads a Family Trip to Israel, a very enriching experience for generations of families!
Rabbi Caruso sees social action as an integral part of his rabbinate. He was inspired to bring Congregation-Based Community Organizing to Cleveland, first introducing it to Fairmount Temple and nurturing its growth among our members. His efforts have led to the formation of Greater Cleveland Congregations (GCC), a coalition of over 40 different faith communities from across Northeast Ohio committed to working towards social justice. GCC has already become the most powerful citizens’ voice in our region, and has been extolled repeatedly in the media as an impressive force for good.
In addition to co-chairing GCC, Rabbi Caruso serves on the Board of Directors of the Jewish Community Center of Cleveland and is a member of the rabbinic steering group of the URJ’s Just Congregations. He is enjoying sharing life’s journey with his wife, Leah, and their children, Lev Aryeh, Asher, and Shayna.
Greater Cleveland Congregations is an interfaith organizations working to make Greater Cleveland a better place. Check out the website for more information, including video with Rabbi Caruso, media coverage of the 2011 Founding Assembly (attended by more than 250 Fairmount Temple members!!).
- For a profile on Passover article on Rabbi Caruso, see The Plain Dealer
- For a column in in Cleveland Jewish News about the need for organizing for social chance,click here
- For an interview with Rabbi Caruso about the Greater Cleveland Congregation, click here for 2011 The Sound of Ideas and here for an interview on The Sound of Ideas about Chanukah (he begins a 4 min. mark).