In this podcast, Laurie gets the honor and privilege to dive deep with an incredible Rabbi to understand Judaism through his eyes and how the congregation at Temple Bethel Shalom in Fort Walton, Florida are making an impact in their community.
Rabbi M. Robert Delcau was born in New Rochelle, New York and grew up outside Nashville, Tennessee. And – he is a southerner, bringing himself back to his roots on the Emerald Coast. Along his path, he attended Tennessee State University and completed a degree in civil engineering. Working for the US Army Corps of Engineers, his career path led him to pursue a graduate degree in hydraulic river engineering at Colorado State University. At CSU, Rabbi Delcau became heavily involved in Hillel of Colorado, which reconnected him with Judaism from an adult perspective and reignited his childhood interest in becoming a rabbi. Rabbi Delcau was ordained from HUC-JIR in Cincinnati in 2008.
Rabbi Delcau’s passion is teaching Judaism to all ages. He focuses on engaging congregants in dialogue about classical Jewish text, modern Jewish thought, and meaningful prayer. Rabbi Delcau is an accomplished service leader and uses his love of music and guitar to foster a spiritual and energetic connection to the congregation. He believes deeply in providing spiritual sustenance for Jew and non-Jew alike.
Rabbi Delcau is also committed advocate for the State of Israel. As such, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) recognized him as part of the first Rabbinical Advocacy mission in the history of the lobbying organization in the summer of 2014. He seeks to be a part of the greater peace effort in the Middle East and has also engaged in efforts such as lobbying public officials in Washington, D.C. to prevent nuclear weaponry in the region.
Before coming to Ft. Walton Beach, Rabbi Delcau spent several years in Washington State where merged his spiritual connection to the outdoors with his passion for sharing Judaism both in the Cascade mountains as a rabbi/ski instructor and serving as the rabbi of Congregation Beth Hatikvah in Bremerton, Wa., on the Olympic Peninsula.
Prior, he served as the Senior Rabbi of Temple Judea of Bucks County in Doylestown where he was very involved in the community serving as leader of the Bucks County Rabbis’ Council for two years. He worked with the Doylestown Hospital as a member of the Pastoral Care Advisory Committee and the Hospital Ethics Committee.
Finally, Rabbi Delcau was an Assistant Rabbi and then an Associate Rabbi at Temple Emanuel of Denver, Colorado. There he created an outdoor program and was very involved with young families, young professionals, creative programming, and developing curriculum and course materials for the temple’s Confirmation class. He was an active member of the Rocky Mountain Rabbinical Council and he sat on the board of trustees of both Hillel of Colorado and Jewish National Fund. Rabbi Delcau served as student rabbi at Mt. Sinai Congregation in Texarkana, TX and interned at Adath Israel Congregation in Cincinnati.
Rabbi Delcau looks forward to connecting his Judaic interests with his love of the outdoors here on the beaches of Florida. Of course he will continue his passions for skiing and hiking. Yet, we may find him sharing prayer on the beach, on the golf course, or on a dive boat as well. He always says, “God has a plan. I am simply along for the ride.” Rabbi Delcau and his daughters Shira and Maya are very excited to be a part of and share this vision with our congregation.
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