Rabbi Ben Herman has been busy during his first few weeks on the job, initiating a series of new programs that accent lifelong Jewish affiliation and education at Bet Shira Congregation in Pinecrest.
Rabbi Herman, who became spiritual leader of Bet Shira on July 1, is actively meeting with congregants to acquaint himself with their needs, and is introducing innovative programs to encourage increased understanding of Conservative Jewish practices and greater personal involvement.
As a first step of his new itinerary, Rabbi Herman has introduced Torah Study classes, taught on Thursdays and Shabbat (Saturday) mornings immediately after prayer services. He also is planning to teach Reiki Torah, a process of gaining greater appreciation of Jewish philosophy and practices through guided meditation.
Rabbi Herman plans to organize several new events on the Bet Shira calendar, including Hiking and Halachah, and Shabbat on the Beach. He is conferring with the congregation’s Programming Committee to introduce new experiential activities for family members of all ages.
Before coming to Bet Shira, Rabbi Herman served as the senior rabbi at Jericho Jewish Center of Jericho, NY. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in History, Hebrew and Jewish Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Rabbinic Ordination with a Master of Arts in Jewish Education from the Jewish Theological Seminary.
Rabbi Herman became a rabbi out of his interest in people, his passion for Jewish life and his desire to help Judaism blossom, flourish and grow within a community. His vision is premised on “Every Member Counts,” and his goal is to build upon the successes of a congregation to ensure that it is a vibrant place where everyone is welcome and discovers a renewed level of religious fulfillment and personal connection to the congregational family.