After leading a congregation in Fayetteville, N.C., for almost 20 years, Yosef Levanon retired to Charleston in August 2012.
But he missed his work as a rabbi, and that longing lead him to become the rabbi at Oseh Shalom in Bluffton.
"This is where I belong," Levanon said. "As the rabbi there for the community."
Levanon commutes from Charleston to lead services in Bluffton on the third Friday of every month. His first service at Oseh Shalom, which is housed in the Low Country Presbyterian Church in Bluffton, was Aug. 16.
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Having taught Hebrew and Jewish studies at various universities including Wisconsin, North Illinois, Spertus College of Judaica in Chicago and Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass., Levanon comes to Bluffton with the goal of creating a learning community at Oseh Shalom.
"We have to be always involved in learning, it's a process from when we are born to when we die," Levanon said. "I see many people in the congregation hungry to learn."
Levanon is holding adult education classes every third Saturday of the month at 10 a.m. at the Osher Life Long Learning Institute in Bluffton. Originally from Jeresuleum, Levanon also hopes to make the community more aware of the conflicts in Israel.
"In additon to making a learning community, I'd like to heighten Jewish awareness and to heightness the wellness of Israel and to be concerned about what's happening there," he said.