RabbiKlensin2

Congratulations to Rabbi Klensin on his Retirement! 

Rabbi Robert Klensin joined Congregation Children of Israel in July, 2004. The rabbi brings 20 years of rabbinic experience. He has both a deep commitment to the progressive teachings of Reform Judaism and a love for the warmth of Jewish tradition and practice.

After graduating Summa Cum Laude/Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. in Philosophy from UCLA, Rabbi Klensin attended Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles and then Cincinnati and was ordained in 1974.

As a youth, he spent some summers at the Union for Reform Judaism Camp Swig in Northern California. After graduating from high school, he spent a year in Jerusalem as a NFTY (North American Federation of Temple Youth) representative to the Institute for Youth Leaders from Abroad. During a second year in Israel, he attended a Hasidic Yeshiva, to gain an understanding, as a Reform Jew, of what it is we are reforming.

From 1974 thru 2002, Rabbi Klensin served as spiritual leader at Temple Beth Shalom of Arnold, Maryland, helping the congregation grow from 60 to over 300 households. After leaving Maryland, Rabbi Klensin served as Interim Rabbi at Temple Beth Israel in Scottsdale, Arizona, followed by a year as Interim Rabbi at Temple Beth David in Westminster, California. Both of these interim positions gave Rabbi Klensin an opportunity to return to important places in his personal life (he's from Tucson, Arizona and went to school in California) while serving congregations in times of transition.

Rabbi Klensin enjoys teaching and sharing his excitement about Judaism with others. He strongly supports the focus of Reform Judaism on serious learning for all members, and seeks an ongoing partnership between the rabbi and congregants in forming the structure for worship and ritual practices.

Social action has always been an important part of his rabbinical experiences. He served as chairperson of the Maryland Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, and has encouraged his congregants to take a stand and be involved with social justice issues. He also served on the Ethics Committee at Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis, and testified on social justice issues before the Maryland and Georgia Legislatures. He currently serves on the board of Planned Parenthood Southeast. Rabbi Klensin was a founding member, and currently serves as the president of the Progressive Religious Coalition of Augusta. He is also a member of the Interfaith Fellowship of Augusta and the Community Advisory Council of We Are Change which works to prevent teen pregnancy.

Rabbi Klensin and his wife, Francine, moved to Augusta in July, 2004 from Seal Beach, California. Francine recently retired from her position as the media specialist at Jenkins-White Elementary School in Augusta. They have three children and four grandchildren. Their son, Jacob, lives in Philadelphia. Their two daughters, Hannah and her husband Todd Greenberg, and Rachel, and her husband Jared Paul, live in the Los Angeles Area.