Rabbi Marc A. Gruber joined Congregation Kol Ami of Frederick in July, 2020. Prior to assuming the pulpit at Kol Ami, he served congregations in Rockville Centre, Rochester, and Westbury, New York, Dayton, Ohio, Kenosha, Wisconsin and St. Louis, Missouri. He is married to Renee and they have three adult sons and one grandson.
A long-time social activist, recently Rabbi Gruber helped found the Anti-Racism Project (antiracismproject.org). He has been active in interfaith activities. He was a member of the Concerned Clergy for Choice, Clergy Advisory Board of Family Planning Advocates of New York State. He has written and spoken on the issues of economic justice, social equality, non-violence, the Midd
le East and the concerns of persons with disabilities. Rabbi Gruber is proud that the RAC selected him to be one of their Fifty at Fifty (RAC’s anniversary) social justice leaders.
During the Covid-19 pandemic Rabbi Gruber initiated, organized, and co-ordinated a rabbinic group to back up hospital chaplains in Nassau and Suffolk Counties on Long Island. The rabbis
provide pastoral support remotely for families and health care workers based on referrals from hospital chaplains.
Rabbi Gruber served on the Committee on Disability Awareness and Inclusion of the Central conference of American Rabbis; from 2010 to 2014 he was a co-chair of the committee. He served as a member of the URJ Committee on Access to Lifelong Jewish Education. From 1995-2002, he served on the Steering Committee for the UAHC Department of Jewish Family Concerns. His special area of concern is the inclusion of people with disabilities and special needs. He was involved in work leading to the publication of An Educational Manual for Special Needs Children by the UAHC Department of Jewish Family Concerns in December, 1999. His article “Reflections, Access to Judaism” is in the manual. He has also worked with his congregations to improve accessibility including the development of policies and processes for the inclusion of children with special needs in religious school, teacher training, student awareness training, and congregational and community study on Judaism, disabilities, and inclusion.
From 2003 – 2013 Rabbi Gruber was a member of the Nassau County Youth Board. He served on the Executive Committee and as chair of the Planning and Advocacy Committee and the Board Development Committee.
To the best of his knowledge, Rabbi Gruber is the only rabbi who is also a licensed soccer coach. He has coached four-year old youngsters through high school students. Rabbi Gruber also enjoys canoeing, hiking, bicycling, and camping.
Rabbi Gruber has been a vegetarian for more than four decades and enjoys cooking. He wrote “From the Rabbi’s Kitchen,” a syndicated vegetarian cooking column from 1990-1993. He enjoyed a following as the Veggie Rebbe. He cooks for his family and friends and has, occasionally, taught a cooking class at the synagogue or written a recipe column for the congregational bulletin or another periodical.
Rabbi Gruber was graduated from Brandeis University, Magna Cum Laude, Highest Honors in Sociology, in 1975. He double majored in Sociology and Philosophy. He wrote his honors thesis on Social Class as a Dynamic in Encounter Groups. Following graduation, he continued his studies at Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in Jerusalem and New York. In 1980 he earned an M.A. in Hebrew Literature and he was ordained in 1981. His rabbinic thesis is entitled Judah Leon Magnes: Zionist, Pacifist and Democrat, A Study of Hebrew and English Archival Material. He then earned a Master’s degree in philosophy from Washington University in St. Louis in 1983. Rabbi Gruber concentrated his studies in the field of ethics, particularly, Jewish ethics. In 2006, as a consequence of 25 years of service in the rabbinate, Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion awarded him the degree of Doctor of Divinity.
Contact Rabbi Gruber at: firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling the office (240) 575-9690.
Eric Dubbin has been singing at Kol Ami since its inception and has also enjoyed teaching music at our Religious School. He grew up singing Jewish music for the youth choir of his home synagogue (Temple Beth Am in Miami, Florida) and at URJ Camp Coleman in Cleveland, Georgia. Eric has lived in Frederick County since the late ‘90s with his wife Susan and their children Kellianne, Ricky, and Justin. He works for the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine as an executive coach and has practiced veterinary medicine on animals large and small since 1988. His passions include his family and their animals, playing guitar, and being outside. Contact Eric at: email@example.com.