Temple Beth David (TBD), a Reform congregation in Cheshire, is preparing to welcome a new spiritual leader this July.
Rabbi Rebecca Gutterman, a second-generation rabbi and native of Providence, RI, feels an immediate connection to the tight-knit congregation and is excited to breathe new life into it. Her father, Rabbi Leslie Gutterman, served as religious leader at Temple Beth-El in Providence 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," says Rabbi Gutterman. "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.”
Rabbi Gutterman, who previously served as spiritual leader of a 60-year-old congregation in New Jersey, sees this transition as both a return to familiar territory and a chance to rediscover, reimagine, and rebuild Beth David. She looks forward to connecting with members and introducing new and exciting programming to increase membership and member engagement.
“One of the things that has impressed me about Temple Beth David from the beginning is the commitment of congregants to maintain and build on beloved traditions even in the midst of difficult times," she says. "I look forward to partnering with TBD’s committed lay leadership, to meeting individuals and families, 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 visiting Connecticut, where she has been in dialogue with the congregation’s Religious School Director and leadership, ahead of her relocation this summer with her husband, Michael Simons, and their seven-year-old son, Jonah.
According to TBD's Board President Debra Gaudette, “Finding the right person to lead your spiritual community -- someone whose personality, enthusiasm, and wisdom are that of the congregation -- is no easy task. In Rabbi Rebecca Gutterman, we have found our perfect match. Together, with our visions aligned, our partnership will bring engaged learning, worshiping and fulfillment, not only to our temple community but our Cheshire and greater New Haven communities as well.”
To learn more about Temple Beth David, visit www.tbdcheshire.org.
See photo of Gutterman above.