A native of Hazleton, Pennsylvania, Rabbi James A. Apple graduated from the Pennsylvania State University with a B. A. in religion. Subsequently, he attended Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, Ohio. He received his Bachelor of Hebrew Letters in 1962 and a Master of Arts in Hebrew Letters in 1965. Rabbi Apple was ordained a Rabbi in May, 1965. He received an honorary Doctor of Divinity from HUC-JIR in 1990.
Rabbi Apple first served congregations in Concord N.H. and Columbia, S.C. In 1970 he became a Navy chaplain. He retired from the Navy in 1996 after 26 years on active duty, most of which was spent with the Marine Corps. Following his retirement from the Navy, Rabbi Apple served as the rabbi of Temple of Israel, Wilmington, N.C. He retired from this position in 2003.
Rabbi Apple is the author of various magazine articles dealing with drugs, marriage, American Jewish history, and life at sea as a circuit-riding Chaplain. He has taught at Coastal Carolina Community College, the University of Maryland-Far East Division, the Naval War College, and from 1996 to the present, Cape Fear Community. While at CFCC, he has taught Religion, The Holocaust in America and Introduction to the Old Testament. He is a certified Master Law Enforcement Police Chaplain.
Rabbi Apple is married and has four children and nine grandchildren.