Rabbi Joshua Caruso’s Upcoming Sabbatical – January to June 2013, by Jim Levine, Fairmount Temple President

I am writing to remind you of the upcoming sabbatical of our Rabbi Joshua Caruso, which will begin January 1, 2013 and conclude June 30, 2013. As I mentioned several months ago and again during my remarks on Rosh Hashanah, Rabbi Caruso will be traveling and studying during his sabbatical and not available to serve our rabbinical functions and lifecycle events during this time. Our Senior Rabbi Robert Nosanchuk and Cantor Sarah Sager will guide the pastoral, educational and liturgical duties at temple while he is away.

Rabbi Joshua Caruso

Note: Rabbi Caruso will return to his duties here at Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple in July, 2013. In fact, he will be celebrating his son’s Bar Mitzvah the following month in August and is co-leading a Fairmount Family Trip to Israel a few months later in December, 2013.

During the time that Rabbi Caruso is away, we have asked Rabbi Melinda Mersack to serve as an auxiliary rabbi, to temporarily support our clergy team on a part-time basis. Many of you have met Rabbi Mersack who previously served as Assistant Rabbi at Fairmount Temple from 2000 to 2002 and was a student rabbi before that. She and her husband Mark Jacobs have continued to live here in Cleveland, growing their young family nearby Melinda’s in-laws, our long-time members Lynn & Bob Jacobs.

Rabbi Melinda Mersack

Rabbi Mersack is a gifted teacher and leader at lifecycle events, including many funerals and B’nai Mitzvah she led at Fairmount Temple during her previous tenure as one of our rabbis. She has recently returned to our lifelong learning program faculty, having since January of 2011 served as a popular teacher of our Shabbat Morning Torah study class. At the recent High Holy Days, Rabbi Mersack led our K-2 Children’s Services and is known in the Cleveland community as the Chairperson of the Board of the Gross Schecter Day School, as a Shabbat worship leader at the R.H. Myers Apartments on the Menorah Park Campus, as well as the GUCI (URJ’s Goldman Union Camp Institute) Cleveland representative, teaching our kids at camp each summer.

I want to welcome Rabbi Mersack and I encourage you to come meet her on Saturday mornings at 9:15 a.m. at the Shabbat Morning Torah Study, held weekly in our Arthur J. Lelyveld Center for Jewish Learning, or the bi-weekly Shabbat services at R.H. Myers apartments. I know we will be enriched by her support, by the ongoing leadership of Rabbi Nosanchuk and Cantor Sager, and will look forward to welcoming Rabbi Caruso back home after his six-month sabbatical, refreshed and rejuvenated, with many new ideas and gifts to share with us as our Rabbi.

If you have any questions, I encourage you to be in touch with me at president@fairmounttemple.org.

Jim Levine, President, Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple