Welcome, Rabbi Barbara Symons, starting July 1st!

Temple Beth El of City Island (NY) will welcome Rabbi Barbara Symons as their new permanent spiritual leader on July 1, 2024.  Rabbi Symons is a very accomplished editor, teacher and rabbi, who is returning to the New York area after serving at Temple David, in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, for 18 years.

Rabbi Symons has been a member of the Central Conference of American Rabbis since 1994, and recently edited the well-received book, “Prophetic Voices:  Renewing and Reimagining Haftarah” under their imprimatur. She has an impressive resume of interfaith collaboration, directing religious school, leading worship services, making life cycle moments personal, and programmatic innovation.

President Rachel Stark said, “As we celebrate Your Shul by the Sea’s 90th anniversary, we are thrilled to welcome Rabbi Barbara with open arms.  She is so brimming with positive energy and ideas for our future. Please come and pray with us any time, and see what a caring, lively community we are.”

Rabbi Symons will be leading two Friday nights a month, some Saturday mornings, and a full calendar of holidays.  As always, Temple Beth El of City Island’s High Holiday services are open to all, with no charge, and will also be on zoom, for anyone who is unable to come out.  Our shul, at 480 City Island Avenue, has a ramp at the entrance and an ADA-compliant bathroom on the main level.  Rabbi Symons will be teaching a full load of adult education courses throughout the year; keep an eye on our calendar at yourshulbythesea.org to stay updated on the topics and schedule, and you can sign up for our newsletter there.

In her own words, Rabbi Symons is “thrilled to be called to the pulpit, learning table, community events and waterfront to celebrate sacred moments in time and to deepen relationships with one another and with God. ”

Rabbi’s family includes her husband, Rabbi Ron Symons, 3 grown children who all work/study in Jewish spaces, and Babka the dog. She and Ron are happy to be back in Westchester. Rabbi Symons cheers for the football team of University of MIchigan, her undergraduate alma mater and her professional sports alliances will remain with Pittsburgh, at least for the time being. The congregation will overlook this strange habit, seeing as how we have a diverse population and a policy of welcoming all in our sanctuary.

Join us in welcoming Rabbi Symons on July 12 at 7 pm, when she leads us in Kabbalat Shabbat for the first time as our new rabbi.  If you are new to TBE, let us know you’re coming:  yourshulbythesea@gmail.com

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