Beth Ami Temple to introduce new clergy at community open house

Beth Ami Temple is in Paradise Valley at 3535 E. Lincoln Drive. (photo by Beth Ami Temple)

When the congregants of Beth Ami Temple of Paradise Valley return to their synagogue nestled in the shadows of Camelback Mountain for the New Member Open House and Shabbat Service on Friday, Sept. 8 two new faces will greet them: Rabbi Allison Lawton and Cantorial Soloist Michael Robbins.

Along with an oneg Shabbat service and wine and cheese reception, the evening will serve as the official introduction of the new clergy to both new and returning members of the Reform congregation.

The free open house and Shabbat Service is 7:30-9 p.m., Friday, Sept. 8, at Beth Ami Temple, located inside Palo Cristi Church at 3535 E. Lincoln Drive in Paradise Valley.

Rabbi Allison Lawton

Rabbi Lawton, relocating from Los Angeles, takes over for Rabbi Art Abrams, who had led the “small temple with a big heart” for the last 11 years, according to a press release.

Rabbi Lawton’s passion for combining social justice with creating sacred space, combined with her seeking new and truly unique opportunities for Jews to maintain deep connections to traditions and foster strong commitments to community, meshes well with the boutique synagogue comprised of active adults seeking Jewish religious and social connections.

According to the Rabbi, Judaism is about potential.

“There is more potential within our tradition than any one person can ever fully comprehend,” Rabbi Lawton said in a prepared statement.

The Phoenix transplant has been involved for decades in issues related to special education, LGBTQ rights, victims of human trafficking, and prison reform.

Cantor Michael Robbins

Cantor Robbins joins Rabbi Lawton on the bimah. A Phoenix native who sang in Congregation Beth Israel’s choir for 18 years and has extensive community theater experience.

“We are eagerly awaiting the start of Beth Ami’s 40th year,” said Temple President Jerry Mittelman in a prepared statement. “Rabbi Lawton’s energy and enthusiasm, combined with Michael Robbins talent, ensure that this coming year will be one of great spirituality and intensity. We invite and welcome one and all to join us to meet and greet Rabbi Lawton and Cantor Robbins, especially if you are looking for an active adult congregation.”

After the welcome reception, the community can experience the temple’s Friday night services, as well as discover more information about the congregation’s Speakers Series, musical concerts, community involvement and meet current members. For more information, call 602-956-0805 or visit

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.

Facebook Comment