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.