Temple Sinai hired Rabbi Sam Shabman after Rabbi Elana Perry announced this winter that she was leaving for Cincinnati, where her husband, Craig, has taken a position as assistant professor of Judaic studies at the University of Cincinnati.
“The congregation has been immeasurably impacted by her,” Temple Sinai Senior Rabbi Ron Segal said. “She’s opened up a whole new world of women’s programming within the life of the community that is just vibrant and dynamic right now.”
Like Rabbi Shabman, Rabbi Perry found her first job out of Hebrew Union College at Sinai.
“I’ve learned how to be a rabbi and what it means to be a rabbi,” Rabbi Perry said about her nine years at the Reform congregation in western Sandy Springs. “Every experience that I’ve had here has taught me something new, about comforting people, about celebrating with people, learning from people, as well as teaching at the same time.”
Beyond the walls of Temple Sinai, Rabbi Perry’s presence has been felt across Jewish Atlanta and in the community at large.
She served on the board and on the clergy advisory group for the new Metro Atlanta Community Mikvah and on the advisory board for the Marcus Jewish Community Center. She was the president of the Greater Atlanta Reform Clergy Association and was active with the Wo/Men’s Infertility Support Havurah.
She also was on the steering committee for Outcry: Interfaith Voices Against Gun Violence, a pluralistic group of Georgia clergy.
In Cincinnati, Rabbi Perry is taking a position as the director of family engagement at Wise Temple, a congregation with around 1,150 member families.
“It’s also a large Reform synagogue and a very historic one in Cincinnati,” Rabbi Perry said. “I will be the first person to have this position — it’s a new position — and I will be doing community building, engagement and informal education for families in the community.”