Forty-two years since the founding of Temple Kehillat Chaim, Rabbi Harvey Winokur assumed an emeritus status and welcomed his replacement, Rabbi Jason Holtz. The new rabbi grew up in Daytona Beach, Fla., where he attended Temple Beth El, but he didn’t feel very connected to the community until he joined the youth group.
Holtz love of being Jewish was ignited, and while he didn’t immediately decide he wanted to become a rabbi, he was drawn to constantly learn more. He went on Birthright Israel while in college and studied abroad at Tel Aviv University. Following his graduation, he attended rabbinical school at Hebrew Union College in Jerusalem and Cincinnati.
He served initially as an assistant rabbi at Temple Emanu-El in Tucson, Ariz., starting in 2010. Crossing the pond in 2013, Holtz moved to London to be the rabbi at Bromley Reform Synagogue, where he was intrigued by both similarities and differences between European and American Jewry.
After five years in London, Holtz and his family were looking to return to America, and he was already familiar with TKC. The Roswell synagogue and Bromley each have scrolls from Bzenec in the Czech Republic. Those same scrolls that initially connected Holtz to TKC served as the ceremonial torch, handed down by Winokur on July 6.
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