Margate temple welcoming its first female rabbi

·2 min read

Temple Beth Am in Margate welcomes its new spiritual leader, Rabbi Michelle Goldsmith, on the weekend of June 25-27.

Goldsmith, 50, is the synagogue’s first female rabbi. She will lead her first Shabbat services there that weekend, and will also greet congregants at a free challah giveaway drive-thru from 11 a.m. to noon on June 25.

Goldsmith, who has been a rabbi for 23 years, most recently served as spiritual leader for Congregation Beth Emeth in Herndon, VA. She has also served Temple Beth-El in Birmingham, AL and was associate rabbi for Temple Beth Sholom in Sarasota and Beth Shalom Congregation in Jacksonville.

Goldsmith said, regarding her new role, “My primary goal is to help reinvigorate the congregation with the feeling of stepping into the future.”

“I hope to do this by bringing a new energy to our programs, along with additional educational and social opportunities for all ages,” she continued. “I also want to emphasize the things that they’ve always done well, which include being an incredibly friendly and deeply committed congregation, and to foster an atmosphere that welcomes people of all generations.”

Goldsmith continued, “I’ve spoken with a lot of congregants who love the intimate quality of the congregation, so it’s really important to keep that, but it is also nice to help them grow and enter a new phase in its history.”

Adam Sternberg, the synagogue’s incoming president whose term begins on July 1 and its current executive vice president, said, “Rabbi Goldsmith is bringing an energy and invigorating spirit to Temple Beth Am that we can’t help but get swept up in.”

“The congregation has been buzzing with excitement since we announced her hiring,” Sternberg continued. “She brings a wealth of experience and knowledge in Jewish education, which is something our members thrive on. We pride ourselves on being an egalitarian synagogue, and Rabbi Goldsmith coming in as our first female rabbi is a natural extension of that philosophy.”

Goldsmith said, “I know for many people, my being hired is a sign that the congregation wants to move forward into the future where all Jews – male, female, any gender – have access to not only come to pray, but also be in a leadership position as not only lay people, but spiritual leaders as well.”

Visit for more information on Goldsmith’s welcome weekend and to register for any of the events, or call 954-968-4545.

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