Gala celebrates Rabbi Cashman who will move to Israel

Rabbi Donald P. Cashman and Sharona Wachs

A gala celebration honoring Rabbi Donald P. Cashman, rabbi emeritus of Albany’s B’nai Sholom Reform Congregation, is set for Sunday, June 26, at the Sidney Albert Albany Jewish Community Center at 340 Whitehall Road in Albany, beginning at 11:30 a.m.

Since 1984, Cashman has been married to Sharona Wachs, who is retiring this month as associate librarian at the University at Albany and affiliated faculty with the Judaic Studies program. 

They are planning to relocate to Jerusalem this fall.

The couple have three children — Avraham, Eliana and Ayelet — who live in the Boston area.

Cashman led B’nai Sholom for 35 years, retiring in 2020. This celebration of his leadership and accomplishments was planned for 2020 but postponed due to COVID restrictions. The brunch will feature a kosher dairy menu and remarks and tributes from distinguished community members.

Cashman has been engaged with the wider Capital District community throughout his career at B’nai Sholom. He oversaw some 1,500 weekly services and 324 bar and bat mitzvahs at B’nai Sholom.

Born in Newburgh, Orange County, Cashman graduated from Boston University and pursued graduate work at New York University and at Hebrew Union College in Jerusalem. He was ordained in 1983, earned a master’s degree in Hebrew literature, and was awarded a doctor of divinity degree in 2008. 

A connoisseur of capsaicin, Cashman delights in tending to his vegetable garden, chiefly tomatoes and chili peppers.

The cost for the brunch is $36 for adults, $18 for children ages 5 to 16. Purchase tickets at

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