Our Rabbi

Rabbi Harley Karz-Wagman became the spiritual leader of Agudath Sholom in July 2023.  He has already become active in interfaith activities and Holocaust education in the Lynchburg area.

Ordained in 1984 through the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (Cincinnati, Ohio), he served as Rabbi for Temples in Greenville, North Carolina; Alexandria, Louisiana; Cheyenne, Wyoming; Wilmington, North Carolina; Everett, Washington; and Hot Springs, Arkansas, where he was also Chaplain for Levi Hospital, Levi Hospice, and Levi Towers (B’nai B’rith) Retirement Community.  Before that, he was a Director of Hillel (serving Jews on college campuses) at Tulane University, the University of Arizona, and the University of Colorado.  

Before seminary studies, Rabbi Harley, practiced law for five years in his hometown of Los Angeles, with a B.A. and J.D. from UCLA, rooting their team to six national basketball championships in seven years.

Rabbi Harley’s community passions include: organizing and teaching for Holocaust Education Committees; creating groups to celebrate diversity and fight prejudice; as well as leadership roles for Israel advocacy; domestic violence awareness; interfaith education; and United Way support.

His wife Barbara currently works for the YMCA.  Her professional career includes fundraising and non-profit management, as well as management and sales for Bank of America and Wells Fargo. 

Their son, Daniel, lives in Los Angeles and works as a program manager for audio visual design in commercial construction. A graduate of Berklee College of Music in Boston, he writes, performs, and publishes music.  Look up “Dubsworth.” Their younger son, Noah, lives in Seattle and works in finance for Costco.

Still living at home are their two dogs, Missy and Poppy.