SHARON — Over the years, Rabbi Barry Starr amassed accolades and built a national profile. He has served as president of the Massachusetts Board of Rabbis, as well as the region’s Rabbinical Assembly, the umbrella group for Conservative rabbis. He has sat on the chancellor’s rabbinic cabinet of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, one of the academic and spiritual centers of Conservative Judaism.
He had been best known as the beloved rabbi of Temple Israel of Sharon, where for the past 28 years he has presided over major renovations, seen his congregation grow to about 630 families, and delivered sermons about ethical standards and the value of tradition.
Starr’s reputation as a mensch — a person of integrity, someone to be looked up to — ended last week when he abruptly resigned from his position at Temple Israel, stunning people in this suburb south of Boston.
“I write this letter with a very heavy heart and a sense of shame and remorse that makes this the most difficult thing I have done in my life,” he told his congregants in a letter he sent by e-mail Tuesday. “As you know, sometimes people who try to be good people do things that are wrong, hurtful, and shameful.”
The married father of two added: “It is with great remorse and deep regret that I acknowledge I have engaged in marital infidelity and other serious personal conduct which require me to resign.”
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