A graduate of Columbia College and ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary where he was a Wexner Graduate Fellow, David Lerner has served as the rabbi of Temple Emunah of Lexington for the last eight years. He brings a unique blend of warmth, outreach, energetic teaching, intellectual rigor and caring for all ages.
Since joining the Temple Emunah family, Rabbi Lerner has focused on three areas: strengthening Shabbat offerings, new learning initiatives and community-building projects. Among these are: SYNAPLEX, monthly Carlebach Friday night services, Shabbatonim, meditation and yoga classes, Shabbat Minhah singing and learning, adult classes on Psalms, the Siddur and the Prophets, Ikkarim for parents of young children, the CJP camping initiative, Israel trips, informal educational opportunities, breakfast classes, lunch and learn sessions, learner's services and sports for teens and adults. He initiated a Sunday morning Family Education learning experience for 7th graders and their parents which includes prayer and study ("Texts and Traditions," a textbook and course he authored). He performed the first same-sex aufruf and wedding in the congregation. Through the use of Skype, Rabbi Lerner initiated a program where Jews from around the world can participate in Temple Emunah's daily minyan, reciting the Mourner's Kaddish.
Rabbi Lerner serves as the president of the New England Region of the Rabbinical Assembly and serves on the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Assembly. During 2010-2012, he is co-chairing an important Rabbinical Assembly task force: the RA Commission on Keruv, Conversion and Jewish Peoplehood. He is also the vice-president of the Massachusetts Board of Rabbis and the immediate past chair and current treasurer of the Lexington Interfaith Clergy Association. In the summer of 2010, he co-chaired the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston's Interfaith Clergy Seminar to Israel, initiating follow-up programs that have built bridges for Israel. Rabbi Lerner has also attended the last two AIPAC Policy Conferences, working to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear power. He also serves of the Combined Jewish Philanthropies' "Ask A Rabbi" Rabbinic Advisory Council. His articles have appeared in Conservative Judaism, the Jewish Week (NY), the Boston Jewish Advocate, the Chicago Jewish News, and the Jewish United Fund News. Recently, he has written columns breaking new ground on Intermarriage in Conservative Judaism. He is the founder of www.clergyagainstbullets.org and an advocate for Faiths United Against Gun Violence.
As a STAR (Synagogues: Transformation and Renewal) Rabbinic Fellow, Rabbi Lerner was chosen to develop leadership skills in order to revitalize synagogues through innovation, organizational change and visioning. For two years, Rabbi Lerner participated in the interdenominational Metivta Spirituality Institute for Rabbis, developing a new spirituality program. He also graduated from the HealthCare Chaplaincy's Clinical Pastoral Education program.
Previously he served as the associate rabbi at the North Suburban Synagogue Beth El, an eleven hundred family, Conservative synagogue in Highland Park, IL for five years. While in the Chicago area, he served as president of both the Southeast Lake County Clergy Association and the North Shore Fellowship of Rabbis.
Rabbi Lerner is married to Sharon Levin, a psychotherapist in private practice in Lexington father of 3 children. An avid sports fan, Rabbi Lerner also enjoys playing softball, cycling, tennis, basketball and yoga. Join him and other cyclists on Emunah's weekly rides!
Follow RavLerner on Twitter (www.twitter.com/RavLerner) and on his blog on www.JewishBoston.com (http://www.jewishboston.com/resources/91-temple-emunah)!