GLOUCESTER – Rabbi Steven Lewis, who has served as the spiritual leader of Temple Ahavat Achim in Gloucester for the last 10 years, will leave his position in July.
Lewis informed the congregation of his decision last week in a letter. “I have decided to conclude my tenure as the rabbi of this wonderful community. It has been my honor and privilege to serve as your rabbi these past ten years. I am proud of the work we have done together, from moving into the building and answering some basic questions about the community in 2011-12, to meeting all of the challenges posed by sustaining the community during a pandemic,” he wrote.
“Over this year of pandemic, I have been able to see in a new way the needs of both the TAA community and of my family. I realize that moving forward I will not have the energy and focus required to continue to serve TAA in the way it deserves. I am fully committed to serving the community as we have agreed through June of 2022.”
Lewis, whose wife is a member of the Gloucester School Committee, plans to remain in Gloucester and continue to be a member of the congregation.
TAA President Amy Farber said the congregation is exploring plans to honor Lewis in the spring. Lewis took over at the time the temple opened its new building. The structure sits on the site of the former temple, which was destroyed by a fast-moving fire in 2007. In a letter to the congregation, Farber said the temple would discuss next steps.
“I am confident that this new challenge will bring us together to articulate what we cherish about our synagogue and create a collective vision for our future,’ she said.