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Congregation Beth El, Norwalk, CT


What's Happening at Beth El

Mon Oct 20
26th of Tishrei, 5775
Mon Oct 20 @ 7:30PM
I thought I knew the Bible, but.... Who knew?!
Tue Oct 21
27th of Tishrei, 5775
Rabbi Joseph Ron Fish Print Email

Rabbi's Table     Ask Rav Ron      icon Jewish Ledger article on Shabbat Basketball at the home of Rabbi Fish

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Rabbi Ron Fish has served as rabbi of Congregation Beth El since August 2001.

The son of a Conservative rabbi, Rabbi Fish grew up in various communities across the United States but his summer "home" for more than a decade was Camp Ramah in New England where he was a camper, a counselor, a unit head (rosh edah) and a teacher. He also served as the Head of Education at Camp Ramah in Canada.

Graduating cum laude from Brandeis University in 1991, Rabbi Fish served as the gabbai (leader) of the egalitarian minyan and a member of the Hillel Board and Student Senate.  He was active in theater and during the summer following his sophomore year he participated in a mission to the former Soviet Union in which he and a group of students offered support to the Jewish communities of Estonia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

Rabbi Fish was ordained in 1996 from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America.  His third year of study was spent in Israel at the Beit Midrah of the Conservative Movment; now know as the Schecter Institute for Judaic Studies. He received awards in Jewish Theology for his work with Dr. Neil Gillman and in Israeli society for his work at Neve Hana, a home for Israeli children from dysfunctional families.

Preparation for the rabbinate also included work in Washington, D. C. with the Religious Action Center where he lobbied the US government on issues of importance to the Jewish community.

During the course of his studies Rabbi Fish was a member of two Jewish a cappella groups, Pizmon and Neranena. Twice during these years he was privileged to travel to Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Austria with Pizmon where the group performed and reached out to the newly reborn Jewish communities of Eastern Europe.

Currently he is pursing a doctorate in Jewish Philosophy at the Jewish Theological Seminary.

Rabbi Fish has served as the president of the Norwalk Clergy Association and was the first president of Rabbinic Council of Norwalk and Westport.  He was the driving force behind a number of crucial communal projects such as Taste of Torah, an evening of learning involving the entire community. Rabbi Fish also headed the organization of a communal basic Judaism course involving rabbinic educators from the entire religious spectrum. 

In 2006 Rabbi Fish successfully organized a synagogue trip to Israel during the second Lebanon War.  The trip was the subject of a documentary on American Jews' experiences in encountering Israel called Eyes Wide Open.

Rabbi Fish is married to Leah Bieler, his wife and partner at home and on the bima.  Leah is a Jewish educator and scholar who brings her voice, humor, wisdom and hospitality to Beth El. She graduated from Northwestern University and has a Masters in Talmud from the Jewish Theological Seminary.

They are the parents of two daughters and two sons, aged 12 to 4 year.    He and his family can be found in Israel each summer and during the warm months in Connecticut they open their yard to the entire community for a warm, relaxed shabbat afternoon experience; including our now famous Shabbat Basketball.  They hope their enjoyment of shabbat, and Jewish life as a whole, will continue to be contagious.