MARLBORO – Rabbi Donald Weber, who has led the congregation at Temple Rodeph Torah, Marlboro, for 36 years, has announced his retirement.
Weber has led Rodeph Torah since 1984, but he decided last summer it is time to turn his work over to a new generation, according to a press release from the synagogue.
Weber is leaving the active rabbinate and will join his wife, Rabbi Shira Stern, the
temple’s rabbinic associate, in retirement in Lenox, Mass. He has been named rabbi emeritus of Rodeph Torah.
In a letter to temple members in July 2019, Weber wrote, “I am in awe of how much we, together, have accomplished. We built a building; we built a community … We brought our own excitement to Jewish life and Jewish learning, and that excitement has been contagious.”
In sharing news of Weber’s retirement with the congregation, the temple’s president, Tmima Grinvald, said the temple is at a turning point.
“We are at the doorsteps of renewal for our congregation,’’ she said.
Saying goodbye to Weber and Stern “has to be a prelude to ushering in a new
Rabbi Marc Disick will serve as interim rabbi starting July 1. An interim rabbi is trained to help congregations identify the guiding criteria toward the future of the community, especially after a long-tenured rabbi, according to the press release.
Disick will be joined by Cantor Lisa Levine, a composer, recording artist and worship leader. As artist-in-residence, Levine will work with the congregation and choir throughout the year on special music programs and services.
Grinvald said she is excited the temple has retained Disick and Levine.
“Their talents will help us shape our future, as we will be building on the legacy and foundation of the caring community we formed in 1980,” Grinvald said.
The 2020 coronavirus pandemic has altered the temple’s celebration of Weber’s last months as rabbi. The temple building has been closed, with services and programs continuing online, according to the press release.
One meaningful goodbye was held in May when dozens of cars drove through the temple parking lot so individuals could thank and congratulate Weber and Stern as they sat in front of the building with their three sons.
Weber is a life member of the Morganville First Aid and Rescue Squad and has been a chaplain for the Marlboro Police Department.
Stern is a pastoral counselor and disaster spiritual care provider for the American Red Cross. She was Temple Rodeph Torah’s Primary School educator for nine years before assuming her rabbinic associate role in 2016, according to the press release.