Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Temple Beth-El welcomes new rabbi


Rabbi Courtney Berman

ORMOND BEACH-The Rabbi Transition Committee has announced the appointment of Rabbi Courtney Berman as the new rabbi of Temple Beth-El, as of July 1, 2016.

"I am delighted that Rabbi Berman will be joining us at Temple Beth-El," said Co-President Rodd Gould. "We are committed to fostering a thriving Jewish community and are an inclusive and respectful community for all our congregants. Her leadership and full-time presence on will enable us to continue building the strong and vibrant environment we envision."

"The choice to come to Temple Beth-El is one I made in partnership with my husband, Jeffrey. We were both impressed with the community when we visited for the first time, and we both felt that coming to Temple Beth-El would provide many opportunities both for me as a rabbi and for us as a couple passionate about building and strengthening the Jewish community," said Rabbi Berman.

"Going through the rabbinic placement process was quite emotional," Rabbi Berman continued. "For each congregation I considered, I had to ask myself if my particular personality and my particular strengths would be a good fit for that congregation. I chose Temple Beth-El because, after much deep reflection, I had reason to believe that I could be the right fit for this community, and that this community could be the right fit for me. I had reason to believe that, together, we could grow and work toward common goals of making this already wonderful community even better. Now that I am starting my job, I get to begin the sacred work of partnering with Temple Beth-El, working to create a vision, and then working to realize that vision. It is exciting."

Now that she is getting settled, Rabbi Berman is looking forward to meeting the people here and listening to their stories, their hopes and dreams, and also anything else they would like to share.

"I believe strongly that building a strong community starts with relationships, and I am looking forward to forming meaningful relationships," she said.

Rabbi Berman was ordained on May 17, 2015, and her position at Temple Beth-El will be her first full-time pulpit. Before coming to Temple Beth-El, she served as rabbi for a small URJ congregation in Sherman, Texas. Though she lived in Los Angeles, Calif., she flew to Texas for the High Holidays and for a couple of other holiday/Shabbat observances. She enjoyed her time with the Jewish community of Sherman, and it gave her husband an additional year to build his career at the Law Firm for which he was working in Los Angeles, but is thrilled I have the privilege of serving a congregation full-time now.


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