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Senior Rabbi Allison L. Berry

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-6 SHACHARIT 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, non-Jewish partners, members of the LGBTQ community, people with physical, social or cognitive challenges and those searching for meaning.

Rabbi Berry graduated from Brandeis University with a Bachelor's Degree in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies with a Minor in Music. 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 proud of her accomplishment creating and developing Temple Shalom’s K-6 Jewish education program,SHACHARIT which launched in 2014. She 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 within the community.

Rabbi Berry believes, "the synagogue should be a place that feels like home from the moment you walk through the doors. At Temple Shalom, we strive to be a home in which we celebrate the joyous occasions in our lives and gather together for support in times of sadness. One of the many roles of a rabbi is to care for and teach the community during these moments of meaning - the moments of joy and sadness. I strive to help each person who joins us deepen their own learning, spiritual and communal connections and ultimately do the work of tikkun olam (repairing the world)."

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

Sermons: Yom Kippur 2019/5780 - Building Our Makom Kodesh (Holy Place).

To reach Rabbi Berry please contact Loretta Zack.
Phone: 617-332-9550

Senior Rabbi Laura J. Abrasley

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 at several congregations in California – Visalia, Culver City and Tarzana – as well as Boston. She also was the rabbinic intern at the Jewish Home of San Francisco and for the HUC DeLeT Summer Institute. 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 for 2 years as the Director of Lifelong Learning at Congregation Beth Or in the suburbs of Philadelphia.

In her role as one of the rabbis at Temple Shalom, 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 an adorable son, Noah. They are thrilled to be in Boston where wearing Red Sox hats is the norm!

Sermon: Yom Kippur 2019/5780 - We are Jewish: Fighting back against anti-Semitism

To reach Rabbi Abrasley please contact Loretta Zack.
Phone:     617-332-9550

Cantor Leah Shafritz

Cantor Leah Shafritz grew up in beautiful Santa Barbara, Cal. 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, Mass. 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 studies at HUC-JIR, 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 for two years.

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.

Email Cantor Shafritz, To schedule an appointment, please contact Anne Fried.
Phone: 617-332-9550

Mon, June 1 2020 9 Sivan 5780