WellesleyWeston Magazine

WINTER 2015-2016

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: http://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/596643

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Page 85 of 211

Our Religous Leaders Rabbi Joel Sisenwine Senior Rabbi at Temple Beth Elohim in Wellesley Since Joel Sisenwine became Senior Rabbi at Temple Beth Elohim (TBE) in Wellesley in 2000, the congregation has grown from 550 fam- ilies to some 1,200 and erected a new 42,000-square-foot synagogue, completed in 2010. The new building's openness, abundance of natu- ral light, and works of art all help to inspire members to be the best people they can be, Sisenwine said, "to lead rich Jewish lives, and to participate in the sacred bonds of community." Architecture can send a powerful message about how we see our- selves and how we want to live, Sisenwine said. He notes that many suburban homes have ample back decks, but no front porches. The former bespeaks privacy, he said, while the latter is about engaging in the wider community. A native of Philadelphia —"with its many front stoops" — Sisenwine attended the University of Pennsylvania as an undergraduate. He fur- thered his studies at Tel Aviv University and the Jewish Theological Seminary, and was ordained a rabbi by Hebrew Union College in 1995. long learner, she will earn a Doctor of Ministry this spring from the Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois. The Village Church, which is the largest congregation in the Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ, has a pro- fessional staff that includes two associate pastors, two pastoral resi- dents, a pastor at large, and more. "I am joining a wonderful, experienced team here," Butter said, but does acknowledge with joy and admiration that the shoes of the Reverend Martin Copenhaver are pretty large ones to fill. Copenhaver, a highly respected thought leader and prolific writer with a national reputation, accepted the appointment of president of Andover Newton Theological School in June 2014. The lengthy search process for a new senior pastor, Butter said, was a time of discernment for both the church community and her family. But so far, it feels like a very good fit all around. If someone in the community has been thinking of attending Village Church, she encourages him or her to simply stop in for a visit. "Come, and we'll be new together," she said. "God delights in doing new things." W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | w i n t e r 2 0 1 5 / 2 0 1 6 84 "If I wasn't the rabbi here, it would be where I'd choose to belong."

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