Gary A. Kabler to lead religious school

Gary A. Kabler

Temple Habonim’s quest to find an education director is over – Gary A. Kabler has filled the role. In February, the search committee was hopeful to hire someone with musical abilities to complement the teaching experience; Kabler is completing his last year in the cantorial program at The Academy of Jewish Religion in New York. Nicole Jellinek, the committee co-chair, said they were looking for “someone who has some experience in curriculum development and somebody who is aware of the current trends in religious education and interested in experiential learning and teaching to the needs of differential learners.” Kabler has taught Hebrew and religious courses to students from elementary to high school age. In addition, he’s served as advisor to various temple youth groups. 

The co-chairs were also seeking a person who would occasionally lead Shabbat, B’nai Mitzvah and holiday services. For the past eight years, Kabler has led Shabbat services and Jewish festival celebrations at The Greens at Cannondale Assisted Living Facility in Wilton, Conn. Lisa Shea, Habonim president, said, “We are impressed by his enthusiasm and his ability to command and retain attention in both classroom and worship situations.”

Kabler is eagerly anticipating assisting Rabbi Andrew Klein in devising captivating worship services that feature music. “Coming in to this new role at Temple Habonim has been a whirlwind experience. Everyone I’ve met has welcomed me with open arms. As the education director, I hope to instill the love of learning. As the cantorial associate, I hope to add a taste of music to a higher level. I am very much looking forward with excitement at teaching, singing and learning here.”

A husband to Janine and a father to Jonathan, Kabler boasts a bachelor’s in music performance from the State University of New York/Empire State College, along with two awards from the Association of Rabbis and Cantors for the creation of original liturgy and programming. Now he will continue creating – Kabler will design the school curriculum, as well as oversee the teaching faculty and network with administrators and the temple community.