Temple Beth El, Santa Maria’s Reform Jewish congregation, will celebrate the upcoming Jewish new year, Rosh Hashana, with the arrival of its new rabbi, Rabbi Ken Lipman.

The congregation welcomes Rabbi Lipman as its first permanent rabbi in 15 years. 

The rabbi, who lives in Berkeley, has extensive experience in Jewish education, spirituality and pastoral services. He has developed many innovative holiday services, and has conducted musical Sabbath evening services incorporating the best of Jewish renaissance and traditional Ashkenazi and Sephardic music.

Rabbi Lipman will lead services and Torah study at the synagogue twice a month through next summer. He is interested in working with Santa Maria’s interfaith community and leading Temple Beth El’s ongoing outreach program for converso, or hidden Jews. Conversos are mostly Mexican-Americans who believe they descend from Spanish Jews forced to convert during the Inquisition.  

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Rabbi Lipman will lead High Holy Days services starting at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 4, for Rosh Hashana and ending Sept. 14 for Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. The temple is at 1501 E. Alvin Ave., Santa Maria. For the full schedule of services, go to www.tbesantamaria.com. For information, call Elise at 354-0480.

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