Rabbi's Welcome

Rabbi JayWELCOME to Temple Beth Shalom’s website! For so many reasons, it is a privilege to serve as Rabbi at Beth Shalom, but most important is that the vibrant spirit of our Temple community is nurtured by the people who are part of our congregational family. When my wife, Emily, and I first met the congregation in 2003, one of our most striking impressions was how much the congregants loved their Temple. We felt their deep sense of pride. And we learned of their personal commitment that Beth Shalom always be a spiritual home for them, their friends, their children, and their grandchildren. We learned of their profound commitment to being part of a community where Jewish life would be rich and meaningful, inspired and beautiful, for people of all ages. This, they shared with us, was the vision held by the founding members of the congregation more than fifty years ago. And it has continued to be ever since.

Today, Temple Beth Shalom is a thriving congregation of families, couples, and individuals from more than 750 households in Needham and throughout the Greater Boston area. We celebrate that ours is a diverse community with many interfaith couples and families who are very active in temple life. And while it is true that our temple community has grown dramatically in recent years – with many new and exciting programs, classes, services, and activities accompanying that growth - our congregation remains “small” in the sense that we continue to be a place for personal connection and sharing. Without question, the heart and soul of the congregation are the friends and families who are here.

Together – young and mature – we explore the wisdom and insight of our sacred tradition through learning opportunities that challenge the mind. Together we pray and celebrate, find comfort in and gain inspiration from services that move the soul. Together we reach out our hands to neighbors of other faiths so that we might learn more about them and about ourselves. Together we continually strive to make a difference in the world by working for justice and by helping those who are in need. Together we reach out to one another – sustaining and supporting each other during the most difficult times. Together we explore our connection to Israel and what Israel has meant to the Jewish people. And together – guided always by our highest ideals of who we are and of who we may yet become – we continue to nurture the spirit of our congregation – making it an even more radiant light in the lives of those in our temple family, our community, and beyond.

I hope that you enjoy your exploration of Beth Shalom’s website. If there is any way that I can be helpful to you as you learn more about our community, please feel free to contact me at any time.

With warmest wishes and Shalom,

Jay C. Perlman, Rabbi