Rabbi Paul David Kerbel joined Temple Beth-El Mekor Chayim in 2019. He brings a wealth of experience and practice to our shul, having served congregations large and small, both as a senior rabbi and associate rabbi during his career.
Born in Philadelphia, Rabbi Kerbel was raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, Rochester, New York and Hollywood, Florida. Rabbi Kerbel’s father Bob served as a Jewish communal professional in these communities, and his mother Ruth as an active lay leader in the communities and synagogues in which they lived. His parents imbued in him the importance of interweaving commitment to the synagogue, community and Israel.
Rabbi Kerbel was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in 1985, receiving the Isaac H. Wolfson Award for Dedicated Service to JTS during his four years of undergraduate and five years of rabbinical school experience at JTS. He was awarded a Doctor of Divinity degree in 2011 for dedicated service to the American Jewish community.
Rabbi Kerbel and his wife Melissa are the proud parents of Sam and Aliza who live in New York City, Rabbi Judah and Eliana who also live in New York City, and Micha, a recent graduate of The Ohio State University, who works for The American Jewish Committee in Washington, DC. Melissa serves as the East Coast Director of the American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.
Rabbi Kerbel serves as the Rabbinic Campaign Chair of the Schechter Institutes, Israel’s leading pluralistic academic institution, and as a senior member of the Global Jewish Community Committee of UJA Federation of New York. He is a member of the New York Board of Rabbis and an active supporter of the Anti-Defamation League, AIPAC, and Friends of the Israel Defense Forces. He looks forward to becoming involved in the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest, the New Jersey Rabbinical Assembly, and area Boards of Rabbis.
We are thrilled to have Ellie Barkin-Baron serve as our new Education Director of the religious school.
The hire represents a homecoming of sorts for Barkin-Baron, who has been a member of the temple since childhood and attended the school herself.
Hebrew has three ways to refer to a synagogue: Beit Tefilah (House of Prayer); Beit Knesset (House of Assembly); and Beit Midrash (House of Study). The TBEMC Lifelong Learning Committee is committed to creating a Beit Midrash for our community by providing congregants opportunities to connect with each other while exploring historical, cultural, and religious aspects of Judaism.
We come together in-person and through Zoom to learn from noted experts in their fields and from each other – in the weekly Thursday morning classes, monthly Book Club, and special events.
We have several upcoming events planned! Look in the weekly email or our online calendar for the latest.
Recent events from the Lifelong Learning Committee:
Ongoing: Thursday morning “Torah Classes” with Rabbi Kerbel
November 6, 2022 at 9:30 AM: Robin Williams: Reality, What A Concept!
Entertainment historian John Kenrick returns with a multimedia talk about Robin’s work including highlights from his hilarious & heartfelt performances as Mork, Mrs. Doubtfire, and in Good Will Hunting. Continental breakfast will be served.
March 31, 2022 at 8:00 PM: Rabbi Neal Scheindlin spoke on “The Jewish Family Ethics Textbook”
January 2022: A Virtual Tour of Jewish Paris
From the comfort of our homes, we took a guided tour of:
• Le Marais: main Jewish neighborhood in Paris
• Place des Vosges
• Hotel de Sully
• Famous synagogue of Hector Guimard
• Oldest synagogue in Paris
• Musée Carnavalet (exterior)
• SHOAH Holocaust Memorial & Museum
• The History of the Paris Jewish Community
• Stories from Holocaust survivors and their families
August 2021: “The Art of Jonah’s Flight” by Rabbi Matthew Berkowitz, exploring the first chapter of the Book of Jonah.
September 2019: “How to Appreciate the High Holy Days: The Important Themes, Prayers and Customs of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur” two-part series presented by Rabbi Kerbel
2019-2020: The Jewish Connection to Comedy Film Series:
“The Frisco Kid”
“Brighton Beach Memoirs”
“Keeping the Faith”
Fall 2019: “Why the Jews”: An Exploration of the Anti-Semitism Throughout History and What to Do About It” two-part series presented by Rabbi Paul Kerbel
Fall 2019: Thursday morning class – “Message of the Prophets” class, led by Rabbi Kerbel
November 10, 2019: Scholar-in-Residence Program: Professor Jack Wertheimer, Professor of American Jewish History at the Jewish Theological Seminary. Two lectures: “Jews on the Move: How Migrations Have Remade American Jewish Life” and “The Good News about American Judaism.”
December 15, 2019: Trip to See “Fiddler on the Roof” in Yiddish in NYC with dinner at Ben’s Deli
Ongoing: Thursday morning “Torah Classes” with Rabbi Kerbel
June 10, 2020: Zoom Webinar: “COVID-10 Pandemic: An Overview of Federal and New Jersey State Response, the Impact on the Jewish Community, and Opportunities for Advocacy,” led by Joshua Cohen, Director, Government Relations & External Affairs, Jewish Federations of New Jersey
July: Thursday morning classes “Book of Psalms” – led by Jerry Baranoff
July 16, 2020: Zoom Discussion: “Racism, Anti-Semitism, Black Lives Matter and the Jewish Community” led by Melanie Roth Gorelick, Senior Vice-President, Jewish Council for Public Affairs and Jim Johnson, Corporation Counsel, City of New York
July 23, 2020: Thursday morning class, “Book of Job” led by Jerry Baranoff and Neil Mayer
September 3, 2020: Zoom discussion “The View from Federation: Response to the Pandemic in New Jersey, the United States and the World” led by Dov Ben-Shimon, CEO, Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ
October 15, 2020: Zoom Presentation: Rabbi Dan Ornstein discussed his new book “Cain v Abel: A Jewish Courtroom Drama”
November 12, 2020: Zoom Presentation: Professor Amy Kalmanofsky, Dean, List College, discussed her book “Dangerous Sisters of the Hebrew Bible.”