Rabbi Barry Starr, who in May resigned from his 28-year position with Temple Israel of Sharon amid allegations surrounding an extramarital sexual relationship and payments to an alleged extortionist, remains connected to the congregation “in hearts and minds” but is no longer involved in temple activity, its president says.
Starr has sold his Sharon home and plans to move out of the area as early as this month, temple president Arnie Freedman said in an interview. The Conservative congregation is still reeling from the loss of its beloved religious leader, during whose tenure the congregation had grown, and who had held national and regional leadership positions in Conservative Judaism.
“He leaves behind a lot of people who care very deeply about him and are concerned for him and the welfare of his family,” Freedman said.
As the investigation into the alleged extortion continues, Temple Israel has been forced to compensate for the void left in synagogue life.
Rabbi Leslie Gordon of Needham has been named interim rabbi on a part-time basis for some services from September through June, including for the High Holidays. She has previously led some of Temple Israel’s parallel High Holiday services — simultaneous services held at the temple, but not in the sanctuary, to accommodate an overflow crowd, she said.
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