Rabbi Bruce Greenbaum began his service to Congregation Beth Israel in June 1994. For seven years prior to moving to the Monterey Peninsula he served as the Associate Rabbi in Congregation Emanuel in Denver, Colorado.
Rabbi Greenbaum was born and raised in Seattle, Washington. When he was still in high school he was involved with Bnai Brith Youth Organization, his Temple Youth Group and was a student officer in the High School of Jewish Studies.
His undergraduate studies at University of Wisconsin in Madison, with one year spent at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, resulted in a double BA in Hebrew Studies and Sociology. He then enrolled in Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion where he received an MA in Hebrew Letters, a second MA in Jewish Education, and was ordained in 1987. The first year of his graduate studies was in Jerusalem, followed by three years in Los Angeles, California and the last two years at HUC-JIR in Cincinnati, Ohio.
In Denver, Rabbi Greenbaum helped create a variety of new programs for Congregation Emanuel including the Colorado Jewish Social Network (a singles program for people age 21-91) and Kosher Catering (a program to feed the homeless).
Rabbi Greenbaum moved to Carmel with his wife Susan and their three daughters, Liotte, Shira, and Tani. His first year at CBI he developed the Confirmation program for students in grades 8 – 10 and built up the youth group programs. Today the CBI confirmation program has over 25 students enrolled, and three active youth groups!
Over the years Rabbi Greenbaum has helped establish our pre-school program, our Best Years (Senior’s) Program, and strengthened our Chavurah groups, while supporting our Caring Community, our Social Action Committee, and our Adult Education events.
The rabbi remains active in the community as well. Presently he is a district leader for our local Rotary clubs, an active chaplain for the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula, active in the Monterey Peninsula Ministerial Association, and a chaplain for the Monterey Sheriff’s Department.
Rabbi Greenbaum is usually found behind his desk Tuesday – Friday and around the synagogue on weekends. Despite being a workaholic, the rabbi still finds time to enjoy tennis, fly fishing, and SCUBA diving.
If you are interested in becoming a member of Congregation Beth Israel or want more information on our programs and services; contact our Synagogue office at (831) 624-2015 or email rabbig@CarmelBethIsrael.org. Rabbi Greenbaum often answers the phone himself.
The Pacific Association of Reform Rabbis (PARR) holds its annual conference in Palm Springs each January. Approximately 125 rabbis from the west coast gather to discuss how to strengthen their congregations and organizations and to learn with Jewish scholars. Rabbi Greenbaum has served in many capacities including President of PARR and is very active in this organization.