Rabbi David Ellenson, President of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, awarded Rabbi Marvin Stanley Schwab with the Doctor of Divinity at Graduation Ceremonies in Los Angeles on Monday, May 17, 2010 at HUC-JIR/Los Angeles (3077 University Avenue, Los Angeles). Rabbi Schwab was honored for 25 years of scholarly distinction as an alumnus of HUC-JIR.
Rabbi Schwab was ordained at HUC-JIR in 1985. He interned for two years at Isaac Mayer Wise Congregation in Cincinnati, OH, often preaching at the Plum Street Temple, a national historic site founded by the father of Reform Judaism in America. Before coming to Temple Beth Shalom, Santa Fe, NM, Rabbi Schwab served the Sunrise Jewish Congregation/Temple Or Rishon of Sacramento, CA, for ten years.
Since their arrival, Rabbi Schwab and his wife, Janet, have become an integral part of the Santa Fe Jewish community. Both of them are determined to maintain the warmth and congeniality of a small congregation even as Temple Beth Shalom grows larger. Rabbi Schwab’s intensely optimistic vision of the future has had a significant impact on the outlook and strategic plans of the congregation which has led it to say that under his leadership, Temple Beth Shalom will continue to move from strength to strength.
Unlike many of his colleagues, Rabbi Schwab did not set out to become a rabbi. After graduating from UCLA with a degree in zoology, he followed a secular path fro twelve years, working first as a medical technologist and later in computers and quality control. But the study of Talmud and the traditions of Judaism exerted an inexorable pull and a 1979 trip to Israel with his fried, Rabbi David Lieb, proved to be a life-changing experience. Rabbi Schwab’s unique blend of humor and seriousness has helped him in his interfaith and social action work. He has just received the Treasure Award from The Human Rights Alliance of Santa Fe, has been the keynote speaker for the NAACP on Martin Luther King Day, and is well known for his advocacy on behalf of living wage legislation, a woman’s right to choose, affordable housing, the abolition of the death penalty, and health care reform. Rabbi Schwab is also the founder of the Interfaith Leadership Alliance of Santa Fe.