Monmouth Reform Temple welcomes new rabbi

Monmouth Reform Temple welcomes new rabbi

Rabbi Renee Goldberg Edelman
Rabbi Renee Goldberg Edelman

Renee Goldberg Edelman is the new rabbi of the Monmouth Reform Temple; she took the bimah there on July 1.

Rabbi Edelman comes to MRT from Temple Sha’arey Shalom in Springfield, where she served as the congregation’s spiritual leader since 2014.

Renee Goldberg was ordained at the Hebrew Jewish College – Jewish Institute of Religion in Manhattan in 1997. When she was in rabbinical school, she worked with the homeless community and then continued that work in Springfield, operating an active soup kitchen and housing the homeless during Christian holidays. She has been involved in making connections to the interfaith community in organizing, hosting, and running interfaith rallies.

She and her husband, chemist Dr. Shade Edelman, have three children — Bailey, a freshman at Boston Conservatory, and twins Jackson and Sophie, juniors at Millburn High School. The family lives in a 120-year-old home in Short Hills.

Rabbi Edelman sought and found a balance of work and child-rearing that included a new role as part-time rabbi and eventually community service rabbi in the northern New Jersey area.

Despite her packed schedule, she found time to write and publish poetry, articles, and a clergy column for The Star-Ledger. She also was the creator and consulting editor of a book, “Sacred Calling: Forty Years of Women in the Rabbinate.” She now is working on a historical fiction mystery about Hannah Werbermacher for Simon and Schuster. Ms. Werbermacher, who lived in the 19th century, founded her own shul without letting her community know that she was a woman.

“MRT is such an amazing community and excels in bringing people together,” Rabbi Edelman said. “I see many synergies of my own passions with the temple, as MRT is known for its social justice work and interfaith outreach.”

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