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Rabbi Klein retires from Temple Habonim

Rabbi Klein says he greatly enjoyed his work at local temple

By Josh Bickford
Posted 7/16/20

Andy Klein knew where he wanted to spend his free time once he retired.

The longtime rabbi at Temple Habonim heads to the beach.

"My husband Adam and I went to the beach today," Rabbi Klein …

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Please support local news coverage –

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Rabbi Klein retires from Temple Habonim

Rabbi Klein says he greatly enjoyed his work at local temple

Posted

Andy Klein knew where he wanted to spend his free time once he retired.

The longtime rabbi at Temple Habonim heads to the beach.

"My husband Adam and I went to the beach today," Rabbi Klein said during a recent interview.

Rabbi Klein enjoys jumping in the waves, and his beach of choice is Narragansett. He will, however, happily settle for a trip to Barrington. He lives close to the town beach and enjoys frequent visits there.

Barrington's proximity to the water has been a welcome perk to serving the Temple Habonim congregation. He has enjoyed his time here so much that he plans on staying in Barrington in his retirement.

Rabbi Klein said he loved Barrington right from the start — right after he arrived here 13 years ago from Great Barrington, Mass.

"We found this to be a very warm and welcoming community," he said. "It's a community that embraced us from the very beginning."

The rabbi said he has also grown very close to the Temple Habonim congregation. The love shared with temple members was exhibited numerous times during the final weeks of his service there. People went out of their way to show him how much they appreciated him.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, members of the congregation were not able to share their good-byes in person with Rabbi Klein, which was difficult. Instead, the temple held a special Zoom farewell.

"It was just delightful," he said.

Rabbi Klein said he actually announced his retirement to temple members back in Jan. 2019. The 18 months allowed the temple to conduct a thorough search and appoint the next rabbi, Howard Voss-Altman. That time also offered the congregation an opportunity to prepare for the change.

"It's quite a process," Rabbi Klein said. "During that we've had a lot of time to say good-bye."

When a rabbi joins a congregation, the departing or retiring rabbi must not be a part of that congregation for a full year. Rabbi Klein was planning to use some of that time to travel — he and his husband had planned a visit to England and Italy. Those plans, he said, have been put on hold.

Rabbi Klein is instead spending planting of time at the beach.

"I'm leaving the congregation in great shape," he said. "And I'm leaving it in great hands."

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