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Student Rabbi in Residence – Clayton Oppenheimer

March 8 March 9

The Temple

5101 US-42
Louisville, KY 40241 United States

Student Rabbi in Residence – Clayton Oppenheimer
March 8 – March 9

The Temple is excited to have Student Rabbi Clayton Oppenheimer join us for a Shabbat weekend.

Message from Student Rabbi Clayton Oppenheimer:

Shalom! I’m Clayton Oppenheimer, and it is with great honor that I will be serving as a visiting student-rabbi on March 8-9. This occasion holds immense significance for me, as my bond with The Temple and its service leaders is profound and lifelong. The Temple has been integral to my life from my earliest memories—it was the venue for my baby-naming ceremony; my father and grandfather served as past presidents, and even Rabbi Waller, of blessed memory, blessed my parents’ marriage. I attended Sunday school and Hebrew school and celebrated both my Bar Mitzvah and Confirmation at The Temple. Admittedly, I wasn’t the standout student or voted most likely to become a rabbi. Still, the beginning of my Jewish identity started with the Temple, and my vision of the rabbi I aspire to be was inspired by our rabbis and service leaders.

Consequently, when I began to seriously consider the rabbinate in my sophomore year of college, I reached out to The Temple’s rabbis even before discussing it with my parents. I then took on the role of Assistant Administrator, engaging in various behind-the-scenes activities at The Temple, teaching B’nei Mitzvah students, and receiving mentorship from our rabbis. Over several summers, this allowed me to work closely with the Temple’s rabbis, students, and administrators, further deepening my connection and learning.

Needless to say, this upcoming visit is a deeply meaningful ‘full-circle’ moment for me. I eagerly anticipate the opportunity to reconnect with our community, revisit familiar faces, and meet new ones.

Clayton Oppenheimer, a Louisville native and University of Kentucky graduate, is a dedicated student at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, striving to become a well-rounded rabbi. Passionate about music, nature, and personal growth, over the last year, Clayton held positions at three synagogues. As a teaching fellow at Beth Adam in Cincinnati, OH, he connected children to the values of Judaism, mindfulness, and spirituality, and simultaneously he worked at Synagogue of the Hills in Rapid City, South Dakota, where he taught adult education, led a Torah study, and conducted Shabbat services monthly. This past summer, Clayton immersed himself in full-time Clinical Pastoral Education, providing spiritual care in a hospital setting as a chaplain. This year he is currently fostering community and connection at Congregation Beth Tikvah in Columbus, OH, as a rabbinic intern, co-leading services, teaching, and engaging with the community in diverse settings under the mentorship of Rabbi Rick Kellner.