Temple Beth David welcomes new rabbi

With the introduction of a new spiritual leader, Temple Beth David is looking to the future!

For members of Temple Beth David, a Reform congregation in Cheshire, their synagogue is more than a spiritual home. It is also a strong community.

Together, led by a dedicated search committee, the congregation is preparing to welcome a new spiritual leader this July, Rabbi Rebecca Gutterman. Rabbi Gutterman, a second-generation rabbi and native of Providence, RI, is thrilled to join a close-knit congregation, feeling an immediate connection to the TBD community, and is excited to breathe new life into the Cheshire congregation. Her father, Rabbi Leslie Gutterman, served as the religious leader at Temple Beth-El in Providence, RI for over 40 years.

“My goal has been to join a spiritual community just like this one, where members know and take care of each other. One rooted in tradition while also embracing innovation. I look forward to building a home in Cheshire for myself and my family, as I know firsthand from my own upbringing what a gift that is.”

For Rabbi Gutterman, joining a 55-year-old congregation will be a welcome challenge. Having previously served as the Rabbi of a 60-year-old congregation in New Jersey, she sees this transition as both a return to familiar territory and a chance to rediscover, reimagine, and rebuild. Gutterman looks forward to connecting with members and bringing in new and exciting programming to the community to increase membership and member engagement. This involves co-designing events and activities with both current members and the community at large.

“One of the things that has impressed me about Temple Beth David from the beginning is the commitment on the part of its congregants to maintain and build on beloved traditions even in the midst of difficult times. Managing the pandemic was no easy feat for any congregation, yet this one rose to the occasion in so many ways. I look forward to partnering with TBD’s committed lay leadership, to meeting individuals and families I’ve not yet met, and engaging with New Haven County’s strong Jewish community with the rich opportunities that affords.”

And she’s not waiting to get started. Though she does not officially take the pulpit until July, Rabbi Gutterman is already taking trips to Connecticut from her current home in New Jersey. She has been in dialogue with the Religious School director and congregational leadership ahead of her relocation this summer with her husband, Michael Simons and 7-year-old son, Jonah.


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