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
Mayim Tamid Jewish Learning Guides (Teachers)
I am thrilled to be a Jewish Learning Guide this year in Mayim Tamid. I grew up attending a Reform supplementary Religious School from K-12 where I was a Madricha, and active in both NFTY and my local youth group. I’ve been teaching Religious School for the last 10+ years, most recently as a Kindergarten Teacher at Temple Israel of Boston and Associate Director of Youth Education at Congregation KI in Brookline, MA. As a lifelong learner, I have a Certificate in Jewish Education specializing in Adolescents & Emerging Adults from HUC-JIR, Master’s Degrees in Jewish Education from JTS (Israel Education) and Hebrew College (Special Education) and a Bachelor’s Degree in Judaic Studies from Binghamton University. My love for Jewish education has brought me to work at URJ Henry S. Jacobs Camp, URJ Kutz Camp, Ramah Darom, the Brandeis Collegiate Institute, Genesis at Brandeis and the American Hebrew Academy.
I am a passionate Jewish Educator dedicated to guiding my learners toward a meaningful Jewish life. At the heart of my teaching are relationships with people, God, text study and community. By building these relationships through music, prayer and engaging experiences I build Jewish identity and creatively engage the next generation. I hope to inspire Jewish youth to embrace their Judaism and pass it from generation to generation.
My favorite moments in teaching have included a greeting activity where students formed a rock band of biblical characters, the day a class of 5th graders worked together to fit each classmate onto one slide all together, the time that a 2nd grader shared a beautiful personal midrash of how he thought Sarah died, witnessing the moment that a 4th grader begins to decode Hebrew words, the miracle of beautiful Sufganiyot made by students out of biscuit dough in a little electric fryer, and surprise 6th grade playground T'filah. I relish both the wild joy of spontaneity and the security and independence created by a familiar routine, weaving both into the fabric of my teaching with joint focuses on deep community building and personal enjoyment and learning. Children in my classroom will spend lots of time with my favorite storybooks (childhood favorites and current social justice themed books!), engaging in very hands-on learning and play (I love creating sensory bins!), and plenty of movement in our playspaces, through nature activities, and during class dance parties.
For my 8th year at TBS, I am thrilled to be joining the Mayim Tamid team and to be working with 1st graders. I bring an additional ten years of experience working with children in camps and schools. My undergraduate degree is in Women's Studies from the University of Maryland and I hold a Master's in Jewish Education with a concentration in Special Education from Hebrew College. I have lived in Boston for sixteen years and am deeply connected to my Jewish communities and chosen family here.
I am so excited to be returning to TBS this year as part of the Mayim Tamid team. I strive for my classroom to be a place of accessibility, open communication, and learning through play. Some of my favorite lessons to teach include Torah Godly Play and acting out Torah stories to help instill a deeper understanding of what it means to be Jewish in my students. My background is largely in writing education. This spring I will receive my Masters in Philosophy in Creative Writing from Trinity College, Dublin where I spent ten months this past year. In addition, I already hold an MFA in fiction writing from the University of New Hampshire. I serve as the Creative Writing Arts Mentor at URJ’s 6 Points Creative Arts Academy, teaching creative writing to campers between the ages of eight and seventeen. I have been teaching in one capacity or another since the age of twelve, when I started assisting in dance classes. Throughout my teaching career I have served as a dance teacher, a madrich, a middle school debate coach, and a Jewish Educator teaching a combined K-2nd class while in college, and 5th grade Judaic Studies. I have always found myself returning to Jewish Education and I could not be happier to find myself working as part of the TBS community once again.
I am very excited for my second year in Mayim Tamid! I am a Needham local and had the fortune of growing up at TBS. I started as a Madricha and went on to be BESTY President and now I am a Jewish Learning Guide.
I graduated from University of Massachusetts Amherst with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Education. I have always seen myself working in some capacity as a Jewish Educator and it only feels right to be beginning my career here.
I believe the way I interact with students was very much influenced by URJ Eisner Camp. After spending over 14 years as a camper, then staff member, and eventually a Unit Head; I had the opportunity to learn so many valuable lessons outside of a traditional educational setting. I always encourage my students to be creative and ability to think outside the box. I want my students to question everything and to form their own opinions. I am so excited for this upcoming year at TBS and to be back with Shanah Bet!
Sholem aleykhem! I'm Noam, and I'm honored to be working with Mayim's wonderful team. I came to TBS with a background as an artist and outdoor educator which drives me to encourage exploration, creativity, and curiosity in my work. I believe children learn best when their natural drive towards inquisitiveness is nurtured and their desire to make things that matter to them is met with the ability to individualize their projects and follow what interests them. I'm excited to find that so many other educators at Mayim share the philosophy that the whole world is our classroom and our own lives and stories are an active part of Torah. I'm looking forward to learning and growing with you all!
Shalom! I am thrilled to continue my work as a Jewish Learning Guide in Mayim Tamid. I am a graduate of Bard College, where I received my Bachelor of Arts in Dance with a minor in Theology. Prior to joining TBS, I have spent my time as a madricha for Kindergarten through third graders, as well as working at a URJ summer camp as both a counselor and a unit head. I also serve as the Dance Arts Mentor at the URJ 6 Points Creative Arts Academy. I love to bring into my classroom all of the ways in which the creative movement process can be applied to the teaching of Jewish values. With both my educational and artistic backgrounds, I strive to bring to TBS a classroom environment where creativity and curiosity are encouraged, and to instill a love of learning about Jewish ideas.
I am so excited to continue my work at TBS this year as a Jewish Learning Guide! I have been involved in Jewish Education as long as I can remember, as a teacher, learner, tutor and mentor. I grew up at URJ Eisner camp, and continued working there for many years. I taught Hebrew school at the synagogue I grew up attending, and tutored many B'nei Mitzvah students. My love for Jewish Education set the foundation for me to pursue my teaching certifications, and brought me to TBS.
I believe that all children, no matter their age, thrive best in a space where they feel safe to explore, communicate, contribute, reflect, and build. I especially love learning and growing with upper elementary aged children. I am truly honored to be a part of the TBS team!
Shalom! My name is Shira and I am so excited to be working with Mayim Tamid Shanah Dalet this year. I have worked at TBS as an Assistant Educator and Hebrew Teacher for a few years and am so happy to be transitioning into this role. I am a theatre artist, a dancer, and a photographer, and I recently graduated from Northeastern University with a degree in Theatre. I have spent three summers working with URJ 6 Points Creative Arts Academy as a Counselor and Unit Program Specialist, on the Media Team, and most recently as the Photography Arts Mentor. My teaching philosophy is deeply rooted in my passion for exploring Judaism through the arts with a sense of creativity, curiosity, deep exploration, and wonder. I believe in asking big questions, embracing uncertainty, and engaging in meaningful dialogue.
I am so excited to be kicking off 2023 and joining the TBS community as a Jewish Learning Guide
in Mayim Tamid! Originally from Austin, TX, I consider myself a true product and success story
of the reform movement. I grew up attending (and loving it) religious school every week,
transitioning into a madricha and eventually a teacher for the same school, actively
participating in my NFTY region while also serving on my local temple youth group board, and
going to URJ Greene Family Camp as a camper and counselor for 14 hot Texas summers. During
college I spent a year studying in Israel and have traveled there more times than I can count.
And now in my adult life, whether professionally or as a volunteer, I have been involved in
dozens of Jewish and non-Jewish organizations.
Prior to joining TBS, I spent a decade working with teens in different capacities at Hebrew
College. I was the Associate Director of Prozdor, a pluralistic Hebrew High School program,
where I managed all logistics and operations, worked closely with our students, parents, and
faculty, taught classes and created curriculum, led travel experiences—both domestic service
trips and annually to Israel. Most recently I served as the Director of the Jewish Teen
Foundation of Greater Boston (JTFGB) at Hebrew College, a Jewish leadership program that
educates and empowers teens from the Greater Boston Area to develop a life-long
commitment to strategic philanthropy, advocacy, and community engagement as they work
together and learn the ins and outs of the nonprofit sector.
I am deeply passionate about Jewish education and have dedicated my life to working with kids
of all ages to make a real impact on this next generation. As an educator, I have always found
myself the most energized when teaching and talking about tzedakah and tikkun olam. I love
finding new and creative ways to organically infuse Jewish values into the lives of everyone I
work with. I believe in creating a unique, sacred, and fun space where kids can not only learn
with each other, but also from each other. I am constantly inspired by all of the time I have
spent watching children thrive and grow over the years. Forming meaningful and lasting
relationships with every one of my students has always been one of my favorite things and I am
really looking forward to doing that with the incredible community here at Mayim Tamid.
I live in Brookline with my husband, Dan, and love to spend my free time crafting, doing puzzles,
volunteering, and exploring New England (especially in the fall!).