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Spiritual Life

Spiritual Brief

LAH synagogue hires assistant rabbi

Congregation Beth Am has hired a new assistant rabbi, Heath Watenmaker, effective July 1.

Since his ordination in 2011 from the Hebrew Union College Jewish Institute of Religion, Heath has served as reform outreach initiative rabbi at Rutgers Hillel in New Jersey. In addition to his rabbinical degree, Heath earned a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s in social work from USC, and a master’s in Jewish communal service from Hebrew Union College.

In his assistant rabbi role, Heath will assume the full range of worship, pastoral and lifecycle responsibilities, with a special emphasis on member engagement. His work with Rutgers Hillel has prepared him to implement innovative ways of engaging members of all ages, developing a network of peer engagement interns, as well as enhancing Shabbat worship and teaching courses, specifically on big questions in Judaism.

Heath has a passion for advocacy and social justice and recently led an alternative spring break community service trip.

Heath is originally from Southern California. He and his wife, Amy, a day school teacher, have a 3-year-old son, Ilan, and are expecting their second child this month.

Congregation Beth Am is located at 26790 Arastradero Road, Los Altos Hills. For more information, visit betham.org.

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