To send a message to any of our clergy directly, please click on their name.
During the day they can be contacted through the Temple office at: (617) 277-6610.
For Life-cycle emergencies only, after business hours call: (617) 651-0584.
Rabbi Sonia Saltzman was ordained in 2008 as part of the first graduating class of the Rabbinical School at Hebrew College, an institution committed to a pluralistic approach to Jewish learning and practice. Upon ordination she served three years at Sha’arei Shalom, a non-affiliated community in Ashland, MA. She helped lead the community through a transition process including extensive new programming and relocation. During Rabbinical School Rabbi Saltzman held student pulpits at Temple Emanuel in Newton and at Temple Aliyah in Needham. She also completed chaplaincy training at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and served as faculty for the Bronfman Youth Fellowship Program in Israel.
Prior to entering the rabbinate, Rabbi Saltzman worked in the field of micro-finance at ACCION International as head of the Financial Services Department, extending credit to small businesses in the developing world. She also worked in Bank of Boston’s Project Finance Department and taught in its Loan Officer Development Program.
Rabbi Saltzman is a graduate of Tufts University and holds a Masters Degree in International Affairs (Columbia University) and a Masters Degree in Bible and Jewish Thought (Brandeis University). She is married to Dr. Ned Saltzman, an urologist at Newton-Wellesley Hospital and has two grown sons, Benjamin and Gabriel.
Rabbi Saltzman grew up in Chile, in a home imbued with Jewish values, but at a time when opportunities for Jewish learning were especially limited for women. When asked why she entered the rabbinate, Rabbi Saltzman responds,
I believe in the wisdom and beauty of Judaism and hope to inspire others to deepen their relationship to Judaism by offering opportunities to engage with our sacred texts, to experience the richness of prayer and to build a caring and committed community.— Rabbi Sonia Saltzman
A graduate of Oberlin College and Harvard Divinity School (Masters of Theological Studies), Rabbi Berkman was ordained by the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in 2007, where she received a Wexner Graduate Fellowship for her studies. She has served as a teacher, service leader, and officiant in a wide variety of Jewish contexts and communities. Most recently serving as Campus Rabbi and Hillel Director at Wellesley College, for six years she was rabbi of Shir Hadash, a congregation in Newton, MA, and has also served as a chaplain for Hebrew Senior Life and for Newton-Wellesley Hospital, an educator for the prestigious Bronfman Youth Fellowships in Israel, a cantor at Congregation Mishkan Tefila, and a teacher for Parenting Through a Jewish Lens, through Hebrew College. Rabbi Berkman has spent time learning and living in Israel, at Pardes Institute for Jewish Studies, Hebrew University, Ben Gurion University, among others, and deeply loves the language and culture of landscape of Israel. She has officiated at many lifecycle events for unaffiliated families throughout the Boston area, and loves the work of engaging all who wish to connect to Jewish life and community, from any background.
Rabbi Berkman believes that it is our Jewish obligation to create an ongoing dialogue between our individual torah (our life experiences, passions, challenges, and questions) and Torah (Jewish text, tradition, culture, and wisdom in all of its many forms). When we bring our own voices into conversation with Torah, we are participating in the sacred task of the creation of new wisdom, and a better world.
Rabbi Berkman is married to Rabbi Jethro Berkman, Dean of Jewish Education at Gann Academy in Waltham. They have three sons, Gavi, Ami, and Edan, and a very sweet dog they adopted named Coco Rose. Edan will be attending TCEE starting in September. They live in the village of Auburndale in Newton.
Rabbi Berkman believes in the life-giving and transformative power of humor, time spent in nature, poetry, music, dance, dogs, coffee, and time spent with children. She looks forward to getting to know every member of the TOS community!
Rabbi Emily Lipof, Rabbi Emerita
Rabbi Emily Lipof is the first woman in the United States to be named Senior Rabbi of a major congregation. In 1988, she was called to our pulpit, where she has been instrumental in revitalizing our congregation with her innovative programs, spirituality, and inclusiveness. An educator at heart, Rabbi Lipof founded the Temple Shalom Nursery School in Newton. She served as principal of the High School for Jewish Studies and was the director and teacher of an adult education workshop at Brandeis University.
The Jewish community of Greater Boston and beyond is well aware of Rabbi Lipof’s uniqueness and accomplishments: She has been honored by Combined Jewish Philanthropies with their annual Rabbinic Award, by Ben-Gurion University of the Negev with their Outstanding Service Award, and by Israel Bonds National Board, which chose her as one of 50 rabbis in the United States to receive the coveted Golden Shofar Award.
Naomi Fisher, Clergy Liaison
Naomi Fisher joined the Temple Ohabei Shalom staff in October of 2014. She is a native of Newton, where she grew up during the inspiring creation and growth of her childhood congregation. As an adult she continues to cherish the people, rituals, and fullness of Judaism. For many years she sang with Zamir Chorale of Boston and she was also a member of Havurat Shalom in Somerville.
Naomi comes to Temple Ohabei Shalom after working in the field of publishing and communications for several decades. Understanding and loving the enrichment that synagogue life can offer, she is excited to be working with the TOS community.