Rabbi Rachel Saphire was born and raised in Springfield, Ohio. She and her twin brother founded their small temple's youth group and became very active in NFTY Ohio Valley. Rabbi Saphire served NFTY-OV as the Regional President and was introduced to Reform Jewish camping at the Goldman Union Camp Institute (GUCI) in Zionsville, Indiana. There she spent several summers as a camp counselor, worship specialist, pool director, and unit head.
Rabbi Saphire attended Miami University (Oxford, Ohio), where she graduated magna cum laude in 2004 with a degree in Family Studies and Social Work. At Miami, Rabbi Saphire became extensively involved with the Hillel Foundation and was awarded the Nicky S. Spivak Award for Community Enhancement. Following her graduation, she entered rabbinical school at the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion.
After an initial year in Jerusalem, Rabbi Saphire studied for the rabbinate at HUC-JIR's historic Cincinnati campus. She represented the student body as the Vice President of the Rabbinic Student Association and the Co-Chair of the Ritual Committee. She worked as a rabbinic intern at the Isaac M. Wise Temple in Cincinnati for three years and also served the Cedar Village Retirement Community, the University of Cincinnati Hillel, and Temple Beth El in Beckley, West Virginia. In these communities, she fulfilled the role of student rabbi, chaplain, adult educator, madrichim (teen) coordinator, religious school teacher, b'nai mitzvah tutor, and retreat staff.
Upon her Ordination from HUC-JIR in June 2009, Rabbi Saphire was awarded the Robert L. Adler Prize for her contribution to the community and the Israel Bettan Memorial Prize for the most creative and imaginative pulpit presentation. She also received a Masters in Hebrew Letters from HUC in 2009.
Aside from her studies and pulpit service, Rabbi Saphire finds time for other passions such as spending time with family, volunteering with interfaith organizations, playing sports, watching ESPN, cooking, and writing.
Rabbi Saphire and her husband, Doug, live in Needham with their two children, Ella and Oren. They are grateful to be a part of the Temple Beth Elohim community.
Contact Rabbi Saphire, (781) 235-8419 x203 or [email protected].
Rabbi Philip Sherman grew up in Minneapolis, MN, and has enjoyed becoming a New Englander. Active in Jewish life since early childhood, Rabbi Sherman attended Camp Ramah in Wisconsin for many years as both a camper and staff member, was active in USY, and always loved celebrating Shabbat with his family.
Rabbi Sherman attended Indiana University, where he graduated with honors in 2006 with a Bachelor’s degree in Judaic studies. Rabbi Sherman spent a semester abroad in Prague, where he developed a passion for East and Central European Jewish life and history. After college he worked for Hillel at Emory University as a Jewish Campus Service Corps fellow building community and connecting with Jewish students of all backgrounds.
Rabbi Sherman received his rabbinic ordination in 2013 from the Hebrew College Rabbinical School in Newton, Mass., a pioneering pluralistic rabbinical education program. Throughout rabbinical school, he held various positions in several Boston-area synagogues as well as MIT Hillel. He also served as Student Rabbi for the Jewish Community of Greater Stowe in Stowe, Vt. Along with his ordination Rabbi Sherman earned a Master’s degree in Jewish education. His master's thesis exploring the idea of teaching compassion to adolescents was passed with distinction.
At TBE Rabbi Sherman enjoys engaging the adult community in Jewish living and learning, teaching classes, finding meaningful prayer opportunities, singing together at a Shabbat dinner, and exploring Judaism through arts and nature.
Outside of Jewish learning, Rabbi Sherman enjoys being in nature, practicing yoga, trying out new recipes, and playing with his energetic toddler and new baby boy. He and his wife, Leah, live in Newton with their children. They consider themselves blessed to be part of the TBE community.
Contact Rabbi Sherman, (781) 235-8419 x208 or [email protected].