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Our Sacred Space

Temple Shalom, a Reform Jewish congregation and a member of the URJ (Union for Reform Judaism), underwent a $3.2-million renovation project of the Sanctuary and Social Hall in the Summer of 2019.

Our Sanctuary now features a state-of-the-art sound system and lighting, a projection system, and streaming with flexible seating for 300 people. A unique, colorful glass door created by California artists David and Michelle Plache-Zuiebak encases the Ark. The bimah has been replaced and made lower, achieving greater intimacy and interaction between the congregation and those on the bimah. The Social Hall, which can hold 250 people, has modern lighting and fresh paint to brighten the space. The Temple Street entrance features a modern, glass exterior and an inviting foyer with a breathtaking tile mosaic and 18 inlays of Jerusalem stone, signifying the 12 tribes of Israel and the five books of the Bible and God.

The new Temple Sanctuary

The Sanctuary

The Ark

Flexible Seating in the Sanctuary

Temple Street Entrance

Social Hall

Social Hall

Our History

Our Building 

Our Temple was founded in 1950 by 225 families. With no temple building in the early years, our services were  originally held at the First Unitarian Church and religious school was held at the Second Congregational Church. The rabbi’s office was housed in a rental space on Walnut Street in Newtonville.

The Temple Shalom groundbreaking (depicted in the video to the right) set the stage for generations . In 1956, the Temple completed construction of our Sanctuary, Social Hall, and religious school at its current location, 175 Temple Street.

In 1998, the building underwent a four-year effort resulting in the expansion and renovation of the Temple, culminating in our Temple rededication. A new chapel, entryway, classrooms, an elevator and meeting rooms were added. In 2019, the Sanctuary and Social Hall underwent another renovation to modernize the space. 

Our Leadership

Rabbi Murray Rothman became Rabbi at Temple Shalom in January 1954 after completing two years of military service as a Navy Chaplain attached to the First Marine Division in Korea. He arrived along with his wife, Charlotte, and daughter, Jo. Their second daughter, Lily, was born a few years later. Rabbi Rothman served as Temple Shalom’s spiritual leader until 1988 when he became Rabbi Emeritus. The Temple’s chapel is named in honor of Rabbi Rothman, who died in 1999.

Rabbi David Whiman came to Temple Shalom in 1981 as Assistant Rabbi and continued as Rabbi after Rabbi Rothman’s retirement.  Rabbi Whiman loved to teach and inspire people of all ages with memorable stories, classes, and sermons. In 1988, Rabbi Whiman created our Shabbat morning Minyan and Torah study group, which is still going strong today.

Rabbi Eric Gurvis arrived in 1999, settling in with his wife, Laura, and their children Benjamin, Sarah, Aaron, and Jacob. Rabbi Gurvis continued the Temple tradition of excellent teaching, expanding the offerings for adult learning to include the Shalom Hartman Institute offerings, mussar classes, an Adult Kallah weekend, and a robust Altshuler Family Scholar-in-Residence program. Many discovered Israel on a trip that Rabbi Gurvis led while many teens experienced Jewish New York City through his eyes.

The video Temple Shalom: 60 Years (below) was presented at a dinner celebrating our decades of being a community.

 Today, the Temple is a thriving community of about 650 families  lead by our co-Senior Rabbis Allison Berry and Laura J. Abrasley. Temple Shalom is the first congregation to be co-led by two female rabbis; we are proud of this distinction and are blessed that these strong, dynamic leaders share the rabbinate.

 

Sat, June 22 2024 16 Sivan 5784