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Rabbi Eric Mollo

Rabbi Eric MolloRabbi Eric Mollo has been the spiritual leader at Tree of Life congregation since 2016. His goal as a community leader, as it says in Isaiah 56:7, is to cultivate the spirit and drive that makes a Jewish community “a house of prayer for all peoples;” one in which all members may find healing, comfort, a sense of self, and community.

In 2008 Rabbi Eric earned BAs in Jewish Studies and Communication Arts and Sciences from the Pennsylvania State University. More recently, he earned a Master’s Degree in 2013 and Rabbinic Ordination in 2014 from the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion.

Prior to his Ordination at HUC-JIR Cincinnati, Rabbi Eric was selected as a Jim Joseph Foundation Fellow and a Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati Fellow. He earned two units of Clinical Pastoral Education, serving as a Chaplaincy Intern at the Christ Hospital and the Jewish Family Service of Cincinnati. His senior year at HUC-JIR Cincinnati, Rabbi Eric also earned the Cora Kahn Prize awarded to a graduating senior whose sermon delivery and oratory are considered best during his/her senior year. Work with the infirm, impoverished, and the terminally ill have particularly impacted Rabbi Eric’s vision for his rabbinate as he continually seeks to “build bridges towards a more meaningful life.”

Rabbi Eric lives in Columbia with his wife, Rabbi Carolan Glatstein, their daughter, Isabelle, and his dog, Yeti. In his spare time, Rabbi Eric enjoys fishing, playing guitar, cooking, trying new restaurants, reading, and studying with his wife.

Contact Rabbi Eric Mollo at

Rabbi Emeritus Sanford T. Marcus

Rabbi Sanford T. Marcus is the Rabbi Emeritus of the Tree of Life Congregation.  He served as the spiritual leader of the synagogue for twenty years prior to his retirement in 2006.  While in Columbia he served as adjunct professor of Jewish History at the University of South Carolina for twenty-two years and has been active in organizations promoting interfaith and interracial cooperation.  From 2013 to the present he serves as part-time rabbi of Temple Sinai, Sumter, SC.

He is married to Ruth Marcus, and has three children – Dr. Jonathan Marcus, Janet Marcus & Rene-Louis Adda, and Julie & Alex Gometz.  He has five grandchildren, Emma (17), Leah (15), Owen (13), Ella Gometz (9); and Bradley Marcus Adda (5).

Rabbi Marcus has volunteered to teach courses at the Shepherd Center for seniors almost every year since its inception, served as President of the Greater Columbia Ministerial Association, been a board member of the Cooperative Ministry, member of The Luncheon Club, the Jewish community coordinator for relief and recovery in Sumter after Hurricane Hugo, a mentor for new arrivals from the Former Soviet Union who settled in Columbia, member of the governor’s task force for at-risk youth, visiting lecturer at Columbia College, Midlands Tech, Benedict College, the Lutheran Theological Southern  Seminary, and has been a panelist for various programs at  USC on Israel, gay rights, theology, and the Holocaust. He has served as guest speaker at numerous civic clubs, public and private schools, and church groups in the Midlands.

Rabbi Marcus grew up in Pittsburgh, PA. He graduated from Washington and Jefferson College.  After college he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and attended its Officer Training School.  Shortly after being commissioned as a second lieutenant he and Ruth were married in 1962.  After receiving additional training in Intelligence he and his new bride, Ruth, spent almost three years in Japan, where he was involved in intelligence activity in the Far East, studied the Japanese language, served as lay leader for 400 Jewish service men and women in the Yokota, Johnson, Fuchu and Tachikawa Air Base area.  While there he met and studied with Rabbi Hiroshi Okamoto, who had been recently ordained at the Hebrew Union College and had returned home.

In 1965 Rabbi Marcus entered the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati where he studied for five years.  Ordained in 1970 he later received a masters degree in Family Relations at UNC-G, and was awarded a Doctor of Divinity degree honoris causa.

During his career Rabbi Marcus served congregations in Gastonia, NC; Ottawa, Canada; and Columbia, SC.

In his spare time Rabbi Marcus enjoys religious study and regular involvement in his community, hiking, gardening, traveling, photography, working out, nature study, and learning new things about life and the world in which we live.

Education Director Rabbi Carolan Glatstein

Rabbi Carolan GlatsteinRabbi Carolan Glatstein was raised in Denver, Colorado. She graduated from the University of Kansas in 2008 with a Bachelor’s in English Literature. She earned her Master’s degree from the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in 2013 and was ordained in 2014.

Rabbi Carolan has served congregations from South Dakota to Massachusetts across many denominations, but her passion for youth work has always been the common denominator. Since she was a teenage teaching assistant in the religious school, she knew she wanted to focus on Jewish education. Her life goal is to help “little Jewish people become bigger Jewish people,” by engaging hearts, minds, and hands – in the classroom and beyond.

She looks forward to exploring Columbia with her husband, Rabbi Eric Mollo, and their daughter, Izzie. She enjoys crocheting, reading, snuggling her dogs, listening to podcasts, and making music with her family.

Contact Rabbi Carolan Glatstein at

Other Temple Staff

Charlotte Gibson, Office Administrator

Sharon Witherell, Music Director

Sat, May 25 2019 20 Iyar 5779