Paul Kerbel Named Associate Rabbi


Kerbel_120915ABy Miriam Furman Silverman

Rabbi Paul D. Kerbel will be installed as Temple Beth Sholom’s associate rabbi at a ceremony on Friday evening, Dec. 11 at 8 p.m. The evening will begin at 5:45 p.m. with Kabbalat Shabbat services followed by a catered Hannukah buffet dinner at 6:30 p.m., installation at 8 p.m. and the opening of a new temple museum exhibit, entitled “Light,” featuring work by photographer and Photoshop artist Abner Zarabi. The evening will conclude with a dessert collation.

Rabbi Kerbel assumed his position in July, after moving to Roslyn from Atlanta, GA with his wife Melissa. He assists Senior Rabbi Alan B. Lucas with pastoral duties, coordinates adult learning, and co-directs with Rabbi Sean Jensen Machon Beth Sholom, the synagogue’s educational and social-action program for teens. He also teaches a monthly, Thursday night, adult-education class sponsored by Sisterhood on justice and the Jewish tradition. He is looking forward to developing a teen leadership program focusing on Jewish community and tzedukah with a micro-grant awarded from the Jewish Education Project. Along with Cantor Ofer Barnoy, he helps children and their families prepare for a child’s bar or bat mitzvah.

“I look forward to increasing our collaboration with the community on programs and events,” he said. “I know that Temple Beth Sholom was the site of a community-wide Israel Independence Day celebration last spring, and I’m proud that we’re good neighbors.” He also expects to be “very involved” with UJA-Federation and AIPAC on Long Island.

Rabbi Kerbel’s wife Melissa is the associate director of development for United Synagogue, an organization of synagogues that affiliate with Judaism’s Conservative Movement. The couple has three adult children: Sam, Judah, who is in rabbinical school, and Michael.

“Temple Beth Sholom is delighted to welcome Rabbi Kerbel, his wife Melissa, and their sons into our congregation,” said Pearl Halegua, temple president. “He is a collaborative, thoughtful, and sensitive team player who hit the ground running when he arrived here last summer.”

Rabbi Kerbel brings his 30 years of experience as a congregational rabbi to Temple Beth Sholom. Most recently, he was the associate rabbi of Congregation Etz Chaim in Marietta, GA, for 12 years, and played a significant role in Atlanta’s Jewish community and as president of the Atlanta Rabbinical Association. Currently, he serves on the Rabbinic Cabinet of the Jewish Federations of North America, the Board of Trustees of the Masorti Foundation for Conservative Judaism in Israel, and the AIPAC and Israel Bonds Rabbinic Cabinets. He is the recipient of the Isaac H. Wolfson Award for service to the Jewish Theological Seminary, where he was ordained, and a Doctor of Divinity Honorary Degree from the Jewish Theological Seminar in 2011.

Contact the temple office at 516-621-2288 if you would like to attend the dinner as reservations are required. Rabbi Kerbel’s installation is open to the public.



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