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Rabbi Sharon Cohen

Rabbi Sharon Cohen was born in Miami, Florida, and spent her teen years in Chattanooga, Tennessee. As an undergraduate, Rabbi Cohen was a double major in History and Jewish and Near Eastern Studies at Washington University in St. Louis. She earned a Masters of Hebrew Letters from the University of Judaism (now American Jewish University) in Los Angeles, and a Masters of Rabbinic Literature and Rabbinic Ordination at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York where she was awarded the Albert Pappenheim Award in Professional Skills.

Following Rabbinical School, Rabbi Cohen served three years as an Assistant Rabbi at Congregation Beth El in Phoenix, Arizona, and became the first female Rabbi at Ohavay Zion Synagogue in Lexington, Kentucky. After nine years at Ohavay Zion, Rabbi Cohen took a break from the rigors of the congregational rabbinate to pursue marriage and family while concentrating professionally on Pastoral Care and Chaplaincy. She trained as a Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) Chaplain Resident at the Veteran’s Administration Medical Center in Lexington, focusing on palliative and hospice care.

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Cantor Barry Nocks

Barry Nocks grew up in Arlington, VA.  He attended public schools during the post-war 1950s and 60s, graduating from Yorktown High School in 1965.  His family were members of the Arlington-Fairfax Jewish Center congregation (now Etz Haim).  Barry attended Hebrew and Hebrew high school there, where he began participating in and leading services prior to his Bar Mitzvah in 1960.  While in Arlington, he continued attending and participating in services, receiving some training from the cantor of a congregation in nearby Alexandria.

Barry and Elaine have been members of Congregation Beth Israel (CBI) since 1974.  Barry has served on the CBI board in various capacities for 28 years, including two terms as president.  He has led parts of High Holiday services since the late 1980s and served as cantor for the Holidays since the mid-1990s.  Barry has assisted in services throughout his almost five decades in Greenville, doing haftorahs, serving as Gabbai, and chair of the religious committee.  He also chaired several rabbi search committees as well as the committee that renovated the Davis Social Hall.

Dr. Nocks earned a BS degree in Industrial Engineering/Operations Research from Cornell University and the MRP and PhD degrees in Planning from UNC-Chapel Hill.  Dr. Nocks has 48 years of professional experience as a practicing planner, professor at Clemson University, administrator, consultant and citizen planner. He directed the master planning process for the Reedy River Corridor in 2001 that led to the Swamp Rabbit Trail and significant development around the river from Conestee to River Place to Travelers Rest.    

Barry met his wife, Elaine, in graduate school and followed her to Greenville where she began a faculty position in psychology at Furman University. They were married in 1974.  Elaine retired from the faculty at Furman University in 2011. They have a son, two granddaughters and a grandson who also live in Greenville. 

Wed, June 19 2024 13 Sivan 5784