Rabbi Michelle Pearlman



Rabbi Pearlman is sharing her  passion for Judaism and creating a sacred family here at Beth Chaim.   Relationships are at the center of her rabbinate.   She is connecting individuals with Judaism, God, and one another.  Though Beth Chaim has a beautiful building and sanctuary, it is really community where the action of Jewish life takes place.

 Prior to Beth Chaim, she served as Rabbi of Monmouth Reform Temple in Tinton Falls, NJ, Associate Rabbi of Temple Shalom of Newton, and worked as Director of Community Engagement at the Jewish Federation of Monmouth County.  In her work she has helped the NJ community recover after Hurricane Sandy.  Most notably, she was instrumental in connecting The St. Bernard Project, a New Orleans based disaster recovery organization, with the Jersey Shore town of Sea Bright.  One of her proudest achievements was bringing teens and adults into volunteer service rebuilding 100 homes.   

Early in life she came to know her Jewish self and her musical soul through singing in a childhood youth choir.   As a young adult she developed a career as  a professional opera singer. Her love for music and Judaism converged when she became the Musical Director and Soloist of Congregation Kol Ami in Chicago.   From there, her passion for Torah, music, and building community lead her to the rabbinate. Rabbi Pearlman is a proud ordinee of The Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (NY 2005).  She credits her husband Drew and daughters Madeline, Noa, and Tal with keeping her singing, as together they create a life full of joy.

Your voice, your story, your Jewish interests, and your active involvement can make the tapestry of relationships at Beth Chaim even richer.  Rabbi Pearlman is excited to partner with all who are interested in deepening ties to Judaism and our congregation, and sends a special welcome to those who are just beginning to forge their own very personal connections.  


Please reach out to her.  She would love to meet you in person!  rabbipearlman@bethchaim.net or 201-344-5295

  Blog Posts


Race and Justice

Resource List


Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

Waking Up White by Debby Irving

The New Jim Crow by Michelle Walker

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson

Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity by Abraham Joshua Heschel

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot


For Kids

As Good as Anybody: Martin Luther King and Abraham Joshua Heschel by Richard Michaelson

28 Moments in Black History that Changed the world

A Jar of Dreams by Yoshiko Uchida

A Picture Book of Martin Luther King by David A. Adler



This American Life The Problem We All Live With (Parts 1 and 2)

Bryan Stevenson on Fresh Air with Terry Gross October 20, 2014

Bryan Stevnson TED TALK   March 14, 2014

Privilege and Pressure: A Memoir of Growing Up Black and Elite in ‘Negroland’  September 8, 2015



Jews in all Hues: Organization helping to support diversity in Jewish life

BeChol Lashon: An Organization dedicated to advocating for the diversity of the Jewish People  bechollashon.org

Jews For Racial and Economic Justice jfrej@.org


Southern Poverty Law Center: Know for their work with hate/extremist groups


Talk about the Talk: The talk describes the difficult conversation being had in American between black parents and their children, especially teenage boys.