Rabbi Elaine S. Zecher came to Temple Israel in 1990. She was the first female rabbi in Temple Israel’s 159-year history. 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 Mishkan T’filah, the Reform Jewish Movement’s new prayerbook for Shabbat, weekdays and festivals. She is a Vice President for Leadership of the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) and serves as the Chair of the Worship and Practices Committee for the CCAR. Rabbi Zecher also chairs the Machzor Advisory Group as the CCAR prepares a new machzor. She serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of the CCAR as well.
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.