Rabbi Jay Perlman
Rabbi Jay Perlman is a Senior Rabbi at Temple Beth Shalom. Since his arrival in Needham in the summer of 2003, Rabbi Perlman has been dedicated to nurturing a warm, vibrant, spiritually meaningful community. He is proud to share in this sacred service with many outstanding clergy, professional, and lay leaders.
Rabbi Perlman is active in both the Needham and the Greater Boston Jewish community. He is an active member of the Needham Clergy Association, including having recently served as president. He currently serves on the New England Regional Board of the Anti-Defamation League. He frequently dedicates two weeks during summer to serve on the faculty at the Union for Reform Judaism’s Camp Eisner. Rabbi Perlman has served as a rabbinic mentor for both the Hebrew College Rabbinic Program and the rabbinical school at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. He is a regular teacher for the URJ’s “Taste of Judaism” and “Introduction to Judaism” programs and is a member of the Needham Coalition for Suicide Prevention.
Before coming to the Boston area, Rabbi Perlman served at Congregation Shaare Emeth in St. Louis, MO. While there, he was awarded UJA Federation’s Rabbinic Award for outstanding community leadership. Rabbi Perlman was active in the development of innovative worship experiences, creative youth programming, and in working with the St. Louis Jewish deaf community. In addition, Rabbi Perlman was the founding Rabbinic Director of the Fleischer Jewish Healing Center of St. Louis.
Rabbi Perlman was ordained from the Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion in New York in 1996. While at HUC, he was the recipient of a number of academic awards, including his selection as a Steinhardt Scholar for his work in informal education.
Rabbi Perlman is originally from the Boston area. He is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Brandeis University, where he received his B.A. in both History and Near East and Judaic Studies. Rabbi Perlman has participated in numerous study opportunities in Israel, including programs at the Hartman Institute, the Conservative Yeshiva, the Pardes Institute, Hebrew University, and through the World Zionist Organization.
Rabbi Perlman has a passion for teaching, learning, building bridges, and sharing the beauty of our Jewish tradition. He joyfully shares his life with his wife, Emily, and their children Liana and Jonah.
Temple Beth Shalom's Elementary Learning Program
This site contains a lot of terminology that is unique to the Mayim program. We hope this glossary will be helpful as you explore the site.
BESTY – BESTY (BEth Shalom Temple Youth) is the Temple YOUth Group (TYG) at Temple Beth Shalom.
Chavurah – Hebrew for “peer or friendship group.” Plural is chavurot. In the Mayim program, a chavurah is a group of children who meet on a regular basis – once a week – to learn together.
Explorations – Mayim uses project-based learning as out main curricular approach. We call the projects "Explorations". Each grade cohort engages in Explorations related to a particular theme.
Etzim – Hebrew for "trees". This is the name of the learning program for 6th-12th grades.
Hebrew Educator – The Hebrew Educators facilitate the small group Hebrew learning for children in fourth and fifth grade. They work with groups of 5-6 children to facilitate mastery of selected t’filot (prayers) and to connect the Hebrew language learning the children have been doing in their chavurot with the prayers that they have been experiencing in weekly t’filah.
Hebrew Through Movement – This is a program designed to introduce Hebrew vocabulary in an interactive and fun way through movement activities.
Jewish Connection Experience – Jewish Connection Experiences are monthly Jewish experiences that are integral parts of the children’s learning. They are opportunities for the children (and sometimes their families) to have authentic Jewish experiences and are included in the Mayim calendar at the beginning of the year.
Jewish Learning Guide – The Jewish Learning Guides (JLGs) are the core faculty of the Mayim program. Working in teams of 2-3, the JLGs are supported by our Director of K-12 Learning, Associate Director of K-12 Learning, Director of K-12 Inclusion, Mayim Curriculum Coach, Kindergarten Curriculum Coach, and/or Mayim Tamid Curriculum Director as they focus on a chavurah group for a particular age group. Together, they craft curriculum on an ongoing basis, as they plan, facilitate, and adapt differentiated learning experiences for the children in their groups throughout the week. In addition to face-to-face time with students, the Jewish Learning Guides engage in team-based planning and development, professional development, communication and relationship-building with families, and individual preparation and learning.
Kehilah Kids – “Kehillah (Community) Kids Shabbat” is a family Shabbat service experience geared toward kindergarteners and their families! This is an upbeat service of singing, simple prayers, and stories led by DJ Fortin, Cantorial Soloist, and one of our TBS rabbis. We conclude each service with a deliciously sweet oneg. Kehillah Kids happens 2-3 times per year.
Kibbud - Hebrew for "snack." Children in grades K-7 participate in a communal kibbud 3:45pm-4:00pm on weekdays and 10:30am-10:45am on Sundays.
Madrich/Madricha – Hebrew for “guide.” Plural is madrichim. Madrichim are 8th-12th grade teens from our TBS community who are learning how to be leaders and student teachers in our K-5 learning settings
Masoret – Hebrew for "Jewish tradition". During the three weeks leading up to a Jewish holiday, the mifgash meeting is extended by 20 minutes for Masoret. Children spend time learning about upcoming holidays, reviewing holiday-related rituals and blessings, and/or learning about specific prayers.
Mayim – Hebrew for “water.” This is the name of the elementary learning program for grades K-5.
Mifgash – Hebrew for “gathering” or “encounter” (pronounced “meefgahsh”). Plural is mifgashim. Each chavurah is divided into two mifgash groups of about 10 children and one Jewish Learning Guide (JLG).
Moadon – Hebrew for “lounge area.” The Moadon is an informal lounge area, staffed by a member of the Mayim team, available for children in our program before our formal learning program time begins.
Project Based Learning – Project Based Learning is an approach to learning that begins with a “big question” and is structured around a hands-on project. Children work in smaller groups, assisted by Jewish Learning Guides and madrichim, to explore the question and contribute to the final project.
Simchat Shabbat – Simchat Shabbat is a Friday night service filled with music, singing, and energy. It is geared toward adults and families with children five and up, but all are welcome. Simchat Shabbat is held the first Friday of the month at 7:15pm. It is often preceded by a special dinner for Mayim chavurah.
T’filah – Hebrew for “prayer.” Plural is t’filot. The last 30 minutes of each weekly chavurah meeting are spent in t’filah.