The Scarsdale Synagogue Temples Tremont and Emanu-El have a new spiritual leader: Rabbi Jeffrey C. Brown.
Brown, 34, comes to Scarsdale following seven years as an associate rabbi at Temple Solel in Cardiff, Calif., near San Diego.
Brown is taking over from Rabbi Stephen A. Klein, who after 31 years becomes Scarsdale Synagogue’s first rabbi emeritus.
Brown said what drew him to Scarsdale Synagogue, a Reform Jewish congregation of 500 families, was its openness to a variety of beliefs.
“Scarsdale Synagogue has an established history as a place that is warm and welcoming to people of all faiths and backgrounds on their spiritual journeys. That was incredibly appealing to me,” he said. “Rabbi Klein, my predecessor, deserves a tremendous amount of credit for setting that tone and living that out in his own rabbinate.”
On Friday evenings, someone always welcomes visitors and members of the community at the door and brings them to a seat, Brown said.
“It’s pretty commonplace in the reform movement today for synagogues to talk the talk about making sure their institutions welcome interfaith families. We do more than talk the talk, we walk the walk,” he said.
Brown, who grew up in New Jersey near Philadelphia, said he is glad to be back on the East Coast.
Brown, who is living in New Rochelle with his wife and two children, said he feels very welcomed since he started work in July.
“Every synagogue has a different personality. The personality of this place is casual, warm and welcoming,” Brown said. “They don’t put on airs. You don’t have to wear certain clothing. You don’t have to have a certain amount of money. You have to be open to what Judaism means to your life. If you are open to that, you’ll find people who want to build connections and learn together and study together.”
Rabbi Jeffrey C. Brown, right, the new spiritual leader of Scarsdale Synagogue Temples Tremont and Emanu-El, recently examined one of the synagogue’s sacred Torah scrolls with Rabbi Emeritus Stephen A. Klein. Contributed photo.