Clergy/ Staff

Rabbi Matthew Durbin

Rabbi Durbin'

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 Z'l

Rabbi Kendall Memorial

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 was 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 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 was 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 was the proud father of Jessica and Rivkah. He enjoyed travel, golf, boating and wind-surfing. He was 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.

Cantor/Cantorial Soloist: In Search

Our Staff

Administrator: Noreen Tolman

Youth Group Advisor and Programming/Social Media Director: Lily Tysinger

Director, Early Childhood Learning Center: Carly Dempsey

Facilities Manager: Steve Liepold