THE LEADERSHIP of Temple Rodeph Torah (TRT) in Marlboro sees Rabbi Donald Weber’s retirement last month as a new beginning for the temple.
Weber, who led Rodeph Torah since 1984, decided last summer that it’s time to turn his work over to a new generation. He is leaving the active rabbinate and will join his wife, Rabbi Shira Stern, the temple’s rabbinic associate, in retirement in Lenox, Mass. Weber has been named rabbi emeritus.
“I am in awe of how much we, together, have accomplished,” Weber wrote in a letter to temple members last July. “We built a building; we built a community…. We brought our own excitement to Jewish life and Jewish learning, and that excitement has been contagious.”
In sharing news of Weber’s retirement, Tmima Grinvald, temple president, said the congregation is at the “doorstops of renewal.” Saying goodbye to Weber and Stern, she said, is a prelude to “a new beginning.”
Rabbi Marc Disick began as interim rabbi this month and will be joined by Cantor Lisa Levine, a nationally renowned composer, recording artist, and worship leader. As artist-in-residence, Levine will work with the congregation and choir on special music programs and services.
“Their talents will help us shape our future, as we will be building on the legacy and foundation of the caring community that we formed in 1980,” said Grinvald.
The coronavirus pandemic impacted the temple’s celebration of Weber’s retirement. A “Drive Bye Parade” was held in May. Weber and Stern sat in the front of TRT, with their three sons, as dozens of cars drove by. The parade began with shofar blowing and included many first responders in fire trucks, police cars, and EMT vehicles who also wanted to express their gratitude to the couple.
Weber is a life member of the Morganville First Aid and Rescue Squad and has been a chaplain for the Marlboro Police Department. Stern is a pastoral counselor and Disaster Spiritual Care provider for the American Red Cross. She was the TRT Primary School educator for nine years before assuming her rabbinic associate role in 2016.