Qabbalat Shabbat: Friday, 6:00 p.m. Torah Study: Saturday, 9:00-11:00 a.m. Weekday Minyan: 6:15 p.m.

Rabbi Elaine Zecher

Rabbi Elaine Zecher

Senior Rabbi

Rabbi Elaine S. Zecher became Senior Rabbi of Temple Israel of Boston on July 1, 2016. She has served the congregation since 1990 and was the first female rabbi in the history of Temple Israel. She has touched the lives of Temple Israel’s congregants – from the very youngest to our most senior members in many significant and meaningful ways. Rabbi Zecher has been instrumental in adding to the spiritual richness of our congregation. She developed and implemented the Service for the Healing of the Soul. She created the Learner’s Minyan for teaching the fundamentals of the Shabbat Service to adult learners and also “Thank Goodness It’s Shabbat!” to teach our very youngest learners. She initiated Women’s Study Groups and started the Women’s Kallah. Her work reaches beyond the physical boundaries of the synagogue as she has created intergenerational experiences for our young adults and senior members. She has also developed original and innovative worship opportunities at Temple Israel’s High Holiday Services. Rabbi Zecher’s work extends beyond the congregation as she sits on the New England Regional Board of the ADL. She has been instrumental in the development of Mishkah T’filah, the Reform Jewish Movement’s  prayerbook for Shabbat, weekdays and festivals and the new Machzor, Mishkan HaNefesh. She is a Vice President for Leadership of the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) and serves as the Chair of the Machzor Advisory Group. She served on the Board of a new Jewish startup called Tzedek America-a gap year program based in Los Angeles. Rabbi Zecher received a Doctor of Divinity (honoris causa) from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 2013 and was ordained from HUC-JIR in 1988. Upon her ordination she became Program Director and Jewish Resource Director at the Striar Jewish Community Center in Stoughton. She grew up in Monroeville, Pennsylvania and is a graduate of Brandeis University. Rabbi Zecher is married to David M. Eisenberg. They have three children: Jacob, Benjamin, and Naomi.

Watch: High Holy Day 5777 Sermons

Read: High Holy Day Sermons

Shabbat Awakenings

weekly e-blast from Rabbi Zecher

Nuance

  • Posted by Elaine Zecher
  • On August 11, 2017
  Welcome to Shabbat Awakenings, a weekly reflection as we make our way toward Shabbat. Every translation is a paraphrase. Anyone who has ever tried to translate from one language into another appreciates there are nuances of understanding. The Yiddish word, mensch, may translate as man, but we know it connotes humaneness, integrity, kindness, and goodness. […]
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Exile

  • Posted by Elaine Zecher
  • On August 4, 2017
  How is it possible to be carried into exile, forced out of one’s home and life, and yet discover that within the darkness shines a light of possibility? This is the history of the Jewish people. The expulsion and destruction of the Jewish inhabitants of Jerusalem and her environs by the Babylonians in 586 […]
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The Lowest Point

  • Posted by Elaine Zecher
  • On July 28, 2017
  Welcome to Shabbat Awakenings, a weekly reflection as we move toward Shabbat. The Jewish calendar has reached its lowest point this week. Before we come around the bend and head toward the High Holy Days, the calendar comes to a screeching halt. It is this time of year, when the heat and humidity drain […]
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I Am In Israel

  • Posted by Elaine Zecher
  • On July 21, 2017
  Welcome to Shabbat Awakenings, a weekly reflection. The poet taught: Life is a journey. This idea is reflected in the detailed account of this week’s Torah portion as the Israelites draw closer to the land of Israel, They recount the places along the way from the Negev to the hills of Moab at the […]
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Broken and Repaired

  • Posted by Elaine Zecher
  • On July 14, 2017
  Welcome to Shabbat Awakenings, a weekly reflection as we move toward Shabbat. This week, many members of Boston’s interfaith community gathered for the rededication of the Holocaust Memorial. One of its panes had been shattered by a young man with mental health issues. I offered this blessing and I share it with you here: […]
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Escalation

  • Posted by Elaine Zecher
  • On July 7, 2017
  Welcome to Shabbat Awakenings, a weekly reflection as we move toward Shabbat. The Bible is full of leaders who spew fear and falsehoods. Pharaoh thought the Israelite slaves would rise up against him. Haman promoted suspicion about the Jewish people dispersed among the other peoples who were too different to tolerate. This week in […]
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Installation of Rabbi Zecher

Congregational Vote

Video Message from Israel

Marriage Equality Sermon

Rabbi Zecher's Blog

The Seventh Person from the Left

  • Posted by Elaine Zecher
  • On July 5, 2016
In Memory of Elie Wiesel He is the seventh person from the left. All of them are gaunt men, younger and older, staring into the camera. Squeezed onto the planks that are supposed to serve as a place to sleep in the prisoner barracks of the concentration camp. But this iconic picture is a picture […]
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I Am With You

  • Posted by Elaine Zecher
  • On July 1, 2016
As I begin to serve as senior rabbi of Temple Israel of Boston, I want to share with you what I told the congregation on the eve of my selection for this great honor.   Nafshi keshora nafshecha My soul is bound up with yours These words are part of the Joseph narrative Describing the […]
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No Mention of Iran, Congress, or Nuclear Weapons

  • Posted by Elaine Zecher
  • On September 2, 2015
The moon in the sky tonight will be full.  We should be able to see it in its entirety. And just as it waxed to wholeness, it will wane back to a sliver, only to start the cycle again.  But then, it will not only be a new moon.   It will be a new year […]
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Rabbi Zecher blogs from Israel: Strengthen the Core

  • Posted by Elaine Zecher
  • On July 23, 2015
              My trip with AIPAC ended two days ago. But, I am still here in Israel. I chose to spend time with my brother and the rest of his family in Jerusalem. I wanted to settle into a different kind of lifestyle of Israeli living than the one I […]
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Rabbi Zecher blogs from Israel: A Beautiful Paradox

  • Posted by Elaine Zecher
  • On July 16, 2015
            Part of me wishes I could say I have figured it all out.  We have met with members of Knesset, Israeli academics, representatives from the Arab community, and Palestinian leaders and business people. We have traveled intellectually through difficult conversations on rocky terrain trying to understand this complex reality […]
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Rabbi Zecher blogs from Israel: New Puzzle Pieces

  • Posted by Elaine Zecher
  • On July 14, 2015
We landed to the news that the US had reached an agreement with Iran over the extensive negotiations regarding sanctions and its nuclear program. We walked off the plane checking our phones quoting headlines and reactions as we headed toward the passport check area. While some world leaders rejoiced at the long sought resolution, others in Israel were less […]
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Rabbi Zecher blogs from Israel: On My Way

  • Posted by Elaine Zecher
  • On July 13, 2015
I’m traveling to Israel today because AIPAC honored me with an invitation to join 19 other rabbis from Reform and Conservative congregations to explore Israel from multiple vantage points.  We will be meeting with Knesset members, activists on the West Bank, Arab and Palestinian leaders, religious and secular Jews, Muslims, and Christians.  They all reflect […]
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