Rabbi Ron Gerson, Lake Oconee Congregation Chai, is a native of San Diego, California. He and his wife Tamra have two children, Tzipporah and Phillip.
He holds a B.A., University of California at Los Angeles; B.H.L., Hebrew Union College, Los Angeles, California; M.A.H.L., Ordination, Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati, Ohio, and received his Doctor of Divinity Degree, also from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Rabbi Gerson served Congregation Children of Israel, Athens, GA from July, 1990 until June of 2012. Previously, he was Rabbi of Temple Beth Shalom in Florida, New York, 1976 – 1990. While at Children of Israel, he organized and led, for the first time in the Temple’s history, a congregational trip to Israel, and a Temple trip to Eastern Europe, including several concentration camps.
His past involvement in ministry includes being a Jewish prison chaplain in the New York State Correctional System. His labor earned him selection as the “Chaplain of the Year” by the New York Board of Rabbis for the 1985 calendar year. Rabbi Gerson served, as well, as Adjunct Professor for the Philosophy and Religion Department of Mercy College, Dobbs Ferry, NY from 1985 to 1986. He also served as Assistant Rabbi, at Temple Israel of New Rochelle, NY from 1974 to 1976.
Since his 1974 ordination, Rabbi Gerson has served as a Rabbi for over thirty-five years. He is an active member of the Athens Rotary Club, The Metropolitan Athens Ministerial Association (past president), and the University of Georgia Campus Ministry Association. His devotion having reached the highest levels of Government, he was asked to open the session for the U.S. House of Representatives with prayer, in October 1999.