Temple Emunah Welcomes Rabbi Leora Kling Perkins 

Temple Emunah’s welcomes Leora Kling Perkins. Courtesy Photo

After a comprehensive search, Lexington’s Temple Emunah welcomed Rabbi Leora Kling Perkins to join Rabbi David Lerner as the new Assistant Rabbi of the congregation on July 16.

“It has always meant a lot to me that Judaism connects with and respond to the world we live in,” said Rabbi Kling Perkins, who received her Rabbinic ordination and her Master’s Degree in Jewish Education from the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) in New York in May 2019.

“Individualism is so important that it sometimes it overwhelms the feeling of community. Yet people crave fellowship and belonging,” said Rabbi Kling Perkins.

“She brings deep knowledge and a wonderful ability to connect with people of all ages in diverse settings,” said Rabbi Lerner. “I am looking forward to teaching and learning with her, and to having her strengthen our multigenerational community.”

“My goal,” said Rabbi Kling Perkins, is to help people find meaning in our traditions and bring them into their lives, to their bonds with each other, and their communities.”

Strength in Community, Meaning in Tradition

After her graduation from Brandeis followed by a year of study in Jerusalem, Rabbi Kling Perkins undertook a series of responsibilities aimed at her goal.

She participated in a year-long fellowship with JOIN for Justice, which integrates Jewish teaching about justice with community organizing and training.  She went on to organize volunteers to read to Boston Public School students in her three-year role with the literacy volunteer program of the Jewish Community Relations Council, which promotes community values and commitment to society.  She was among the organizers of Cambridge and Somerville prayer groups, helping those new to the cities bond with an energetic, lay-led, welcoming Jewish community.

Her commitment to helping communities expand the way they meet different Jewish needs led to rabbinical school.

Diverse rabbinical student internships provided a range of opportunities for involvement in all aspects of Jewish life:  teaching in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and West Hartford; hospice care in the Bronx; camp in the Rocky Mountains; the Center for Small Town Jewish Life in Maine.

“These experiences help me connect with the diverse congregation at Temple Emunah, find meaning in our traditions, and enhance our bonds to the synagogue and to our community.”

Rabbi Kling Perkins, originally from Needham, is married to Matthew Goldstone, who teaches rabbinical students at the Academy of Jewish Religion.

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