Welcome to Beth Chaim Reform Congregation
We welcome your interest in our Synagogue and invite you to join us in the practice, joy and traditions of our Jewish heritage. We have established a Jewish house of worship where all people can enjoy the practice of Reform Judaism and the feeling of being part of the larger Jewish family.
More specifically, the Temple aims to provide:
- Religious worship services
- Support and direction for Jewish and interfaith families and individuals
- Jewish educational opportunities for children and adults
- Social events
- Social action activities
- Judaica shop
We are thrilled to announce that the Beth Chaim Board of Directors has approved the hiring of Rabbi Michelle Denker Pearlman as our new rabbi effective July 1, 2014.
Rabbi Pearlman comes to Beth Chaim with a wealth of experience that we expect will translate to new and exciting opportunities for growth, social action, advanced learning and community involvement for all of our congregants and their families. Most recently, Rabbi Pearlman served as Director of Community Engagement at the Jewish Federation of Monmouth County creating relationships and networks to engage members of the Jewish community with an emphasis on the unaffiliated. At Federation, Rabbi Pearlman developed multiple new outreach initiatives for the community. Highlights include a Hurricane Sandy home rebuilding effort, Sandy Teen Fellowship program, Jewish Monmouth Cares program engaging volunteers to visit the sick and homebound and PJ Library outreach for young families.
Prior to that, from 2010 to 2013, Rabbi Pearlman led the historic 350 household Monmouth Reform Temple in Tinton Falls, NJ. With a goal of creating a more connected community, she was involved in all areas with a focus on strengthening community engagement, membership, and outreach. Rabbi Pearlman expanded adult learning, established a Family Engagement Task Force to engage kids and their parents, and led a wonderful adult trip to Israel. She also worked with educational partners to transform teen education, established a High School Mitzvah Academy, introduced teen travel opportunities, expanded youth grouping and created the Bagels and Blocks initiative for young families.
She has also served as Associate Rabbi of Temple Shalom of Newton, MA and worked for the Union for Reform Judaism. While at the URJ she focused on youth, membership and issues facing interfaith families in congregational life.
Rabbi Pearlman made multiple personal visits to Beth Chaim in March to meet with the Search Committee and the Board. She impressed all of those involved with her warmth, experience, knowledge, sincerity, vision, pulpit skills and ease of communication, and ideals of inclusion and equality for all congregants.
Rabbi Pearlman is active as a speaker, teacher and writer. Beth Chaim members will be interested to note that Rabbi Pearlman recently published “Interfaith Families are People Not Numbers,” Op-Ed, New Jersey Jewish News, November 5, 2013 and was a contributing author to the book Inside Intermarriage by Jim Keen, URJ Press, 2006. Both resources can be found on the internet.
Rabbi Pearlman is actively involved in an impressive list of professional associations including the Central Conference of American Rabbis. As a member of the CCAR, she is the current co-chair of Annual Giving. She served on the Rabbinic Placement Director Search Committee in 2011 and is a member of the URJ/CCAR Joint Commission on Music and Religious Living. She is a member of the Interim Ministry Network, UJC Rabbinic Cabinet, Women’s Rabbinic Network and Monmouth County Interfaith Clergy Association.
Rabbi Pearlman received her rabbinic ordination in 2005 from Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion. In her pre-rabbinic life she was an avid performer on the operatic and musical theater stage. She holds a Masters of Music, in voice from the University of Illinois (1994) and a Bachelor of Musical Arts, (1992) from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI.
The Transition Committee is planning a variety of opportunities for our congregants, community members and potential new members to meet and welcome Rabbi Pearlman over the next few months including an Installation Ceremony before the High Holidays.
Rabbi Michelle Pearlman, her husband Drew Denker and their children Madeline age 10, Noa age 6 and Natalia (Tal) 15 months, will be relocating from Central NJ to the suburbs of Philadelphia in the next few months to be close to their immediate family and the synagogue.
Please be sure to make time to welcome them to our community and to the Beth Chaim family.
Beth Chaim is pleased to have joined the Amazon Associates Program, which enables members and guests to participate in fundraising for the temple at no cost. If you click the link below to reach Amazon.com to do your on-line shopping, a percentage of all sales gets returned to Beth Chaim. Please share this opportunity with your friends and family! All purchases are secure and confidential. Click the Amazon banner below to link to the site.
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