The Hickory Jewish Community's History

Interesting facts and details about our history are available in the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life.

Meet Our Rabbi

Dennis Jones has worked with families in the Hickory/Taylorsville area since 1984, serving for almost 20 years, along with his wife Kathy, as “live-in” residential counselors for troubled teens in group home programs run by the Catawba County Department of Social Services.  Since 2003, Dennis has been employed as a math teacher at Alexander Central High School in Taylorsville.  He specializes in teaching students with learning and behavioral challenges.  Dennis, who joined Temple Beth Shalom in 1992, has served on the Temple Board of Directors for over 17 years and has been the Temple’s president for 8 years. All of Dennis’ family is active in both the Jewish and greater Hickory area communities.  His wife, Kathy, is the school social worker at Alexander Central.  Their oldest daughter, Heidi, is a registered nurse with a B.S. from Appalachian State University.  Middle daughter, Jaimi, is a senior at Appalachian State majoring in social work and working part time in a local substance abuse clinic.  Their youngest son, Jesse, is a graduate student in the Nuclear Engineering Program at North Carolina State University.

Dennis holds a B.A. degree in Psychology from Malone College, a Quaker-founded school in Canton, OH, where he also did significant course work in religious studies and Biblical languages.  He has an M.A. in Education from Appalachian State.  As an affirmation of his faith and commitment to Judaism he applied to two rabbinical seminaries with strong on-line course offerings and was accepted by both.  Dennis chose the program that best matched Temple Beth Shalom’s focus and began his rabbinical studies in July of 2014.

“Student” Rabbi Dennis is committed to making Temple Beth Shalom a place where individuals of any gender, race, religion, or family configuration will be able to make a connection with God, with the Jewish community, and with the nation of Israel.  He has a particular vision for programs to strengthen educational programs for children and teens as they   are the future of the Jewish community and of our world.  Any investment we make in them will pay huge dividends in the future.

Won’t you come out and get to know us better and to meet our rabbi?  All are invited!  You can find our service schedule in the calendar under “Newsletter & Events.”