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Senior Rabbi Allison L. Berry








To reach Rabbi Berry, please contact Erin Borras via email or phone (617-332-9550)

Rabbi Allison L. Berry is honored to serve as Co-Senior Rabbi of Temple Shalom and work in partnership with Rabbi Abrasley as they lead the clergy and staff team of the congregation. Rabbi Berry joined the Temple Shalom community in 2011 as the Associate Rabbi and Director of the Grades K-5 Education program. She is deeply committed to the fact that Temple Shalom is a diverse community, welcoming people of traditional and non-traditional backgrounds, interfaith families, Jewish-by-choice, Jews of color, members of the LGBTQ community, people with disabilities, and those searching for meaning.

Rabbi Berry graduated from Brandeis University with a Bachelor's Degree in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies. Upon graduation, Rabbi Berry worked as the Family Educator of Congregation Mishkan Tefila in Chestnut Hill and later attended Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York. Ordained as a rabbi in 2007, Rabbi Berry has served congregations in Hickory, N.C., Leonia, N.J. and for three years was the Rabbi and Education Director of Temple Beth David in Canton, Massachusetts.

Rabbi Berry  is a passionate advocate for the full inclusion of people with physical, social, emotional and cognitive challenges within the Jewish community and has worked to create an environment at Temple Shalom where all children and adults are welcome and able to learn and connect.

Rabbi Berry, her husband Mark, and children, Micah and Zachary love living in Newton and can often be found at the Cabot School playground.

Senior Rabbi Laura J. Abrasley







To reach Rabbi Abrasley, please contact Erin Borras via email or phone (617-332-9550)

Rabbi Laura  J. Abrasley joined the Temple Shalom clergy team in July 2015. She grew up in Houston and graduated from Texas A&M University with a degree in psychology. Her path to becoming a rabbi began with many summers spent as a camper and then counselor at the URJ Greene Family Camp in Texas. After college, Rabbi Abrasley worked in education and technology sectors in Boston, most recently serving as Youth Educator at Temple Israel.

In 2007, Rabbi Abrasley began her rabbinic studies in Jerusalem and continued at the HUC-JIR campus in Los Angeles.  She served as a student rabbi  and intern at several congregations in California as well as Boston.  With a strong commitment to Jewish learning, she earned an additional Masters in Jewish Education and was an education intern at Leo Baeck Temple in Los Angeles. Upon ordination in 2013, Rabbi Abrasley served as the Director of Lifelong Learning at Congregation Beth Or in Philadelphia.

Rabbi Abrasley is committed to inspiring and implementing active, engaged opportunities for connection and community. She believes deeply in partnering together to pursue the work of tikkun olam, repairing the world and providing rich moments for Talmud Torah, the pursuit of lifelong Jewish learning.

She and her wife, Julie Childers, have a teenage son, Noah. They are thrilled to be in Boston where wearing Red Sox hats is the norm!

Cantor Leah Shafritz

To reach Cantor Shafrtiz, please contact Erin Borras via email or phone (617-332-9550)

Cantor Leah Shafritz grew up in beautiful Santa Barbara, CA. and more recently lived in Boston where she earned a Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance, magna cum laude, from The Boston Conservatory. After graduating college, Leah worked at Congregation Sha'aray Shalom in Hingham as the youth advisor, seventh grade teacher, and music specialist, before embarking on her cantorial studies in Jerusalem and New York City.

She was ordained by The Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion, Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music, where she also earned a Masters of Sacred Music degree. During her studie, she served as the student cantor for two years at Port Jewish Center on Long Island, as well as a B'nai Mitzvah tutor at Shaaray Tefila, on the Upper East Side, where she also served as the Cantorial Intern.

Cantor Shafritz believes that music is a powerful tool with which to connect to people in ways beyond what is possible in everyday interactions; that it can reach, inspire, and create relationships with people in many different aspects of congregational life. As clergy, she feels privileged to be able to create connection and to empower others to bring their unique gifts in order to build community, creating sparks of holiness within the entire congregation.

Cantor Shafritz lives in Watertown with her husband, Abram Koester, and their future therapy dog, Albie. She enjoys cooking, baking, and playing tennis. A true Southern Californian, Cantor Shafritz proudly bleeds Dodger Blue.

Clergy Writings & Sermons

Visit our From the Bima Blog to read a selection of writings from our clergy, including High Holy Day sermons and divrei Torah. 

Fri, April 16 2021 4 Iyar 5781