Statement issued Tuesday:
Congregation Achduth Vesholom is pleased to announce the appointment of Rabbi Javier E. Cattapan as its 21st spiritual leader, effective July 1, 2010. A native of Buenos Aires, Argentina, Rabbi Cattapan comes to Fort Wayne from Temple Beth Israel-Shaare Zedek in Lima, Ohio, where he has led the congregation for the past 12 years. He succeeds Rabbi Marla Joy Subeck Spanjer, who has led Fort Wayne's Reform Jewish community for the past three years.
Ordained by the Reform Movement's Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati in 1998, Rabbi Cattapan also has completed coursework toward a doctorate from HUC-JIR in Medieval Hebrew Literature in Renaissance Italy. He earned his undergraduate degree at the Universidad de Buenos Aires in Classic and Medieval Philosophy in 1993.
Rabbi Cattapan has served as a visiting assistant professor of Modern Hebrew at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and a visiting instructor in Modern Hebrew Literature at HUC-JIR. His experience includes serving pulpits as a student rabbi in Hattiesburg, Mississippi; Odessa, Texas; San Jose, Costa Rica; Fargo, North Dakota; and Hancock, Michigan. He also served as a chaplain intern at Jewish Hospitals in Cincinnati, as well as a student cantor in Ramat-Gan, Israel. In addition to teaching b'nei mitzvah and Hebrew students of all ages, Rabbi Cattapan has worked at Camp Ben Frankel in Carbondale, Illinois and Olin-Sang-Ruby Union Institute in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin.
Building on his love of music and singing, Rabbi Cattapan incorporates music from all over the Jewish world into services, classes and presentations.
Formed in 1848, Congregation Achduth Vesholom ("Unity and Peace") is the oldest Jewish congregation in Indiana. The Temple is a charter member of the Union for Reform Judaism (formerly the Union of American Hebrew Congregations).