About Us

Our Story

Temple Beit HaYam was founded September 1993 by a group of dedicated Jewish families who wanted their children to have a Jewish education and a place to worship as a congregation.

We are large enough to offer a variety of educational and community programs, yet small enough to maintain a feeling of intimacy. All religious services, social programs and school classes take place in our beautiful Temple located in the Monterey Commons Professional Park. We offer Hebrew and religious training for youngsters from kindergarten through confirmation ages. Currently, there are more than 130 students enrolled in our programs. Our active Sisterhood and Mens Club plan activities and events designed to encourage social interaction and support of our Temple. Concerts, lectures and other events are offered to the Treasure Coast community at large. In addition, our Caring Community and Social Action Committee embody our commitment to tzedakah (justice and giving). Our active Junior and Senior Youth Groups provide important social and informal learning experiences for our teens.

We invite you to visit our congregation and meet our Rabbi Matthew Durbin, Cantorial Soloist and Religious Education Director Beth Pennamacoor, Director of Early Childhood Learning Tammy Kaiser, and Administrator Noreen Tolman. We look forward to welcoming you into our caring community.

Our Mission

Temple Beit HaYam is a family of families connected by a noble history and an inspiring value system with Jews on the Treasure Coast and throughout the world. We stand together as a Reform Jewish Congregation committed to Torah (life-long Jewish education), avodah (worship through prayer and observance) and gemilut chasadim (the pursuit of justice, peace and deeds of loving kindness). We aim to provide meaningful religious, educational, cultural and social activities for all our members in a warm and inclusive manner. Through these ideals as well as those of social action and tzedakah, we look to add meaning to our lives and the lives of others.

Our Clergy

Rabbi Matthew Durbin was born and raised in Toronto, Canada, and was an active member of his home congregation of Holy Blossom Temple. After completing an undergraduate degree (Honours B.A.) from York University in Toronto in Anthropology, he embarked on his journey towards the rabbinate preparing at the Leo Baeck College in London, England where he was awarded a Masters of Hebrew and Jewish Studies as well as rabbinic ordination in 2008.

During his third year in rabbinical school, while studying abroad in Jerusalem, he met his wife, Rose, while she was training for the rabbinate in her first year at HUC-JIR in Israel. His rabbinic thesis: The Development of Tikkun Olam and its implications on the Modern World, focused on examining the term tikkun olam in its historical and early rabbinic understanding toward our modern day interpretation of the term as it relates to social justice and action. Rabbi Durbin completed a unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) as well as clinical work at NYU Medical Hospital in Manhattan during his rabbinical training. He also was the Vice-President of the Capital District Board of Rabbis, he wrote the Social Action Holiday Guide for Tu B’shvat for the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) during a summer intern program offered by the Commission on Social Action in NYC. They have three beautiful and energetic daughters, Eliana, and Maya, and Delilah, who are a delight and certainly keeps them on their toes.

Rabbi Durbin was the spiritual leader for Temple Beth El, a Reform congregation located in the Adirondack Mountains of Upstate NY for six years, where he strengthened the community, formed a strong sense of Jewish identity within the congregation and inspired members of the community to become more active and involved in congregational life. He brings with him to Stuart a great energy and excitement for Judaism and a strong commitment to learning and education, as well as a deep passion to interact and form relationships among the members of the community. They are thrilled to call Stuart home.

Rabbi Emeritus Jonathan P. Kendall

Jonathan Kendall, the founding Rabbi of Temple Beit HaYam became Rabbi Emeritus (Retired) on June 30, 2011.

Rabbi Kendall was elected to the Beit HaYam pulpit as our congregation’s first full-time Rabbi in the summer of 1995. Previously, he had served pulpits in Miami, Santa Barbara, California and Los Angeles.

Born in Youngstown, Ohio, Rabbi Kendall is a graduate of Ohio State University (a double major in Philosophy and Linguistics) and was ordained at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati in 1975. At HUC-JIR he also received a Bachelor of Hebrew Letters and Master of Hebrew Letters degree and was recently awarded a Doctor of Divinity degree in recognition of his contributions to the community and the American Reform Rabbinate.

Rabbi Kendall served as an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Religious Studies Department of the University of California at Santa Barbara. He was a discussant at the Robert M. Hutchins Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions which was connected to UCSB. During his California tenure, the Rabbi served on a number of community boards including Hospice and United Way; he chaired the Allocations Committee for United Way of Santa Barbara County and was the chairperson in Santa Barbara County for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). He and three other clergy established Transition House, a homeless shelter in Santa Barbara which still flourishes today. Rabbi Kendall also served as the West Coast Chair of UJA’s Rabbinic Cabinet and in that capacity, was the “Rabbi-in-Residence” for more than ten missions to Israel under the aegis of the United Jewish Appeal (now, United Jewish Communities).

Rabbi Kendall was among the first appointees (by Governor Lawton Chiles) to the newly created oversight committee that led to the localization of Heath and Human Services in the State of Florida and also served on the local boards of HRS in Miami and the Treasure Coast.

Rabbi Kendall arrived at Temple Beit HaYam when we had no building. His efforts over the next five years in everything from interior design to fund-raising made a major impact on our building plans and construction. The Temple grew from 115 families upon his arrival to just under 300 families; from 37 children in our Religious School to more than 100.

He is the author of My Name is Rachamim (a children’s book on the Ethiopian aliyah) and contributed a chapter to That You May Live Long (both through the URJ press). He has had articles published in the Miami Herald, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and Reform Judaism.

Rabbi Kendall is the proud father of Jessica and Rivkah. He enjoys travel, golf, boating and wind-surfing. He is a master teacher, an outstanding preacher, a caring pastor, a scintillating interpreter of our tradition, a committed Zionist, a civil libertarian and constantly seeks to enlarge and enrich Jewish life along the Treasure Coast.

Cantorial Soloist Beth Penamacoor

Beth has served the Congregation as Cantorial Soloist since 1997. Originally from Worcester, Massachusetts, she participated in her Temple’s choir from 2nd grade until graduating high school in 1974. She was the president of her Temple youth group chapter and participated in regional activities throughout high school.

Beth has two daughters, Jessica, who is married to her partner, Jess, and is in real estate.  They reside in Michigan, and Rebecca who is married to Evan Beery. They have an 8 year old son, Draven and 6 year old girl, Rayla. Beth loves being a Bubbe.

Beth has been Temple Beit HaYam’s Director of Education since 2009. She is having a great time in that position. She loves working with all of the teachers and students in the Religious School. She also does one-on-one tutoring with students preparing to become B’nei Mitzvah. She feels that this is one of the most rewarding parts of her job.

In 2017, Beth achieved one of the things on her bucket list.  She received a dual Bachelors/Masters Degree in Jewish Education through Hebrew College with a minor concentration in Israel Education through the iCenter in partnership with Hebrew College. This has been a long time goal for her to complete her education. Beth is an active member of the Commission for Jewish Education in Palm Beach as a member of the Educators’ Council.   She is also a member of the Association for Reform Jewish Educators and is a previous board member as Vice President of Membership for the Guild of Temple Musicians.

Our Staff

Administrator: Noreen Tolman
Director, Early Childhood Learning Center: Tammy Kaiser, MSJE
Facilities Manager: Michael Holmes

Executive Board

Temple Beit HaYam’s 5779 (2018-2019) Board

President: Michael Millner
Vice President – Ritual: Howard Kantrowitz
Vice President—Education: Lisa Zitner
Vice President—Membership: Joan Burton
Secretary: Jesse Katz
Treasurer: Eric Berkowitz
Past President: Amy Alpert
Chairperson ECLC: Sandy Crile

Representative Trustees

Sisterhood President: Stacy Stoller
Brotherhood President: David Lampert
Youth Committee Chair: Kim Rosen
Caring Committee Chair: Beverly & Steve Liepold
Adult Education Chair: Gisela Landwersiek
Fundraising Chair: Ira Pearlstine
Social Action Chair: Mini Fetterman

Trustees

Trustee: Jeff Chaban
Trustee: Steve Ziskinder

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