About Our Rabbi

EttinOrdained by Aleph—The Alliance for Jewish Renewal, Rabbi Ettin has been the Spiritual Leader of Temple Israel, Salisbury, NC since 1990. He served two one-year terms as interim religious leader of Temple Emanuel, Winston-Salem, NC (a Reform congregation) and has been the Jewish chaplain at Wake Forest University and formerly at the Blumenthal Home for the Aged, as well as visiting religious services leader for Congregation Emanuel, Statesville, NC. He is experienced in leading Reform, Renewal and traditional services.
He is a member of the Clinical Ethics Committee of Wake Forest University School of Medicine. A former regional Board member of the Union for Reform Judaism and former board member of its national Committee on Interreligious Affairs, Rabbi Ettin participates actively in interfaith and interracial community social and religious programs throughout central North Carolina.


His academic degrees include A.B., Rutgers College (English); M.A. and Ph.D., Washington University, (English); and M.S.J.S., Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies (Religion). In addition, he has earned a certificate in Clinical Pastoral Education from Baptist Hospital. Dr. Ettin is Professor of English at Wake Forest University, where (in addition to English literature) he has taught Jewish studies in the departments of English and Religion and the M.A.L.S. program, the Wake Forest Divinity School and Shaw University Divinity School. In 2002 he was awarded the university’s Alumni Award for Community Service.

He is the author of three published books: Literature and the Pastoral; Betrayals of the Body Politic, a study of the South African Jewish writer Nadine Gordimer; and Speaking Silences: Stillness and Voice in Modern Thought and Jewish Tradition. He is also the author of “That Troublesome Cousin” in Jesus Through Jewish Eyes) and several articles and reviews in the area of English literature. A fourth book, The Service of Beauty: Finding Artistry and Ethics in Jewish Worship, was published in 2009.