Who We Are


Rabbi: Stephen Fuchs

Cantor: Cantor Murray Simon



 President : Barry Fulmer               

 First Vice President : Michael Hochschild 

 Second Vice President :  Cheryl Fulmer             

 Treasurer :   Barry Epstein                   

 Corresponding Secretary: Irene Skolnick            

 Recording Secretary: Lois Lorsch *               


Immediate Past President :  Alan Lessack               




Annette Pacyga

Tanya Hochschild

Janice Block Chaddock

Barry Roth

Garry Weiss

Esta Berger

Shirley Frank 

Norma Kohn 



Temple of the Islands PO Box 84

Sanibel, FL 33957



* Deceased







The distinguished Rabbi Stephen Lewis Fuchs joined Temple Bat Yam in September 2017, just in time to lead the Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur High Holy Days services. He and his wife, Vickie,  live on Sanibel during season.


Rabbi and Mrs. Fuchs reside in West Hartford, Connecticut. He served as senior rabbi for 14 years at Congregation Beth Israel until retiring in 2011. His previous pulpits were in Nashville, Tennessee and Columbia, Maryland. They have three children and six grandchildren.


Rather than coasting after retiring from the pulpit, Rabbi Fuchs journeyed to Milan, Italy to serve as an interim rabbi. For the last three years, he has traveled to Germany to teach and preach in synagogues and churches, some welcoming a rabbi for the first time. In addition, Vickie, a retired teacher, joined him in teaching about the Shoah (World War II Holocaust) in German high schools.


Rabbi Fuchs’ career has many more accomplishments such as professor, lecturer, book author, essayist, and worldwide advocate on behalf of Reform Jewish thinking and practice as well as Jewish/Christian relations. He participated in the historic meeting of Pope John Paul II with Jewish leaders in Miami, FL. He was among ninety leaders invited to the White House for breakfast with President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore. He served as president of the World Union for Progressive Judaism.


Growing up in New Jersey, Rabbi Fuchs graduated from East Orange High School and then attended Hamilton College. He was ordained a Rabbi at Hebrew Union College-JIR in Cincinnati and then received a graduate certificate in Jewish Communal Service from the HUC branch in Los Angeles. Subsequently, he earned a Doctor of Ministry Degree in Biblical Interpretation from the Vanderbilt University Divinity School in Nashville. Rabbi Fuchs is a strong proponent of dialogue and compassion among religions and races.


The Vanderbilt Divinity School recently named Rabbi Fuchs the Divinity School’s 2017 Distinguished Alumnus of the Year. The official award ceremony will be in October. He was selected because of his leadership in promoting interfaith understanding and cooperation.


Discussions between Rabbi Fuchs and Reverend John H. Danner, senior pastor of the Sanibel Congregational United Church of Christ have commenced to further the good work and programming that have become a hallmark of the two congregations and faiths that share one beautiful building.


Friday night Shabbat services begin at 7:30 p.m. each week as of September 22, 2017 and at 7:00 p.m. until then. Bat Yam services and classes are held at the Sanibel Congregational United Church of Christ located at 2050 Periwinkle Way on Sanibel. All services and classes are open to all those who wish to worship and learn with Rabbi Fuchs.

Rabbi Stephen Fuchs


                                                    Cantor Murray Simon

Murray E. Simon is a native of Philadelphia, PA where he earned the degree of Bachelor of Music in Performance from Temple University. In 1980, Cantor Simon was honored by Temple University as Alumnus of the Year of the College of Music. He then enrolled at the Hebrew Union College -­‐ School of Sacred Music in New York City where he was certified and commissioned as a cantor in addition to receiving the degree of Bachelor of Sacred Music cum laude.

He has served several prominent congregations in the New York City and Boston communities. Cantor Simon served as cantor of The Jewish Center, Princeton, NJ from 1996-­‐2010 and is now its Cantor Emeritus. He has been a lecturer in Jewish music and liturgy at Brandeis University and Hebrew College, Brookline, MA as well as the Academy for Jewish Religion in New York City where he served as Interim Director for Cantorial Studies. Cantor Simon was honored with the coveted Faculty Award from AJR in 2009.


A voice student of Eleanor Steber of the Metropolitan Opera, he also attended the Boston Conservatory of Music where he received his Master of Music degree in voice. In June 2005, Cantor Simon was a featured tenor soloist in a concert at Lincoln Center, New York City sponsored by AJR.

He is an Honorary Fellow of The Jewish Theological Seminary and in March 2009 received the prestigious Hazzan Putterman Cantorial Leadership Award from The Jewish Theological Seminary. He is a member of the Executive Council of the Cantors Assembly and currently serves as Chair of the New Jersey Region of the CA. He also served as national president of the American Conference of Cantors (ACC). Cantor Simon is the producer of the highly-­‐acclaimed, historic DVDs, GREAT CANTORS OF THE GOLDEN AGE and GREAT

CANTORS IN CINEMA in conjunction with The National Center for Jewish Film at Brandeis University. He has been awarded two honorary Doctor of Music degrees, one from the Hebrew Union College -­‐ Jewish Institute of Religion and one from The Jewish Theological Seminary.