Temple Beth Shalom

21 East Foster Street, Melrose, MA (781) 665-4520

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Clergy / Professional Staff

Rabbi - Rabbi Arnold M. Fertig, MPA, DD

Rabbi Arnie Fertig has been involved in a wide variety of activities at Temple Beth Shalom since becoming our rabbi in 1998. While serving on a part-time basis, he leads services, supports our Shalom School, and is involved in other areas of Temple life. He mentors each of our B'nai Mitzvah students in preparation for their service. Arnie taught the Jewish Prayer and Thought segment of our Adult B'nai Mitzvah program, and was instrumental on the Temple's Capital Campaign and Building Design committees. He and his wife Gail are often found at Temple social events, such as our Jazz concerts, Bruppers, Kugel-fest, or Sunday "get to know you" brunches.

Arnie is an active member of the Melrose Clergy Association, and each year participates it its Interfaith Thanksgiving Service and clergy retreat. In the spring of 2011 Mayor Rob Dolan appointed Arnie to a three year term as Commissioner on the Melrose Human Rights Commission.

Prior to his service at our congregation, Arnie spent much of the early 1990's helping to found, and serving as the first rabbi of Temple Etz Chaim in Franklin, MA. Earlier in his career he served as full-time rabbi in Gadsden, AL; Concord, NH; and Binghamton, NY.

His service to the Jewish world extends beyond the pulpit, and has included roles as the New England Regional Director of B'nai B'rith, and National Director of Development for the American Physicians Fellowship for Medicine in Israel.

Arnie holds a Masters in Hebrew Letters degree from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, where he was ordained in 1977. In addition, he earned the Masters of Public Administration (MPA) degree from the JFK School of Government at Harvard University in 1991. There, he focused his studies on the Leadership and Management of non-profit organizations.

In 2002 he was awarded the Doctor of Divinity degree, honoris causa, from HUC-JIR in recognition of his twenty five years of service to the American Jewish community. Throughout his rabbinate, he has actively worked for tikkun olam – mending the world's imperfections through a commitment to addressing issues of social injustice, whether in the United States, the former Soviet Union, or the Middle East.

Arnie invites your comments and questions at any time, and can be reached at: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


 Cantorial Soloist - Beth Purcell

 Beth Purcell has served as Cantorial Soloist since 1999. She has also taught 6th and 7th grades at the Shalom School in recent years. Previously, she worked at Temple Etz Chaim in Franklin, MA (1995 – 1998).

A member of the Women Cantors’ Network and the North Shore Cantorial Association, Beth also serves as Leader of Services at Orchard Cove in Canton, a Hebrew Senior Life retirement community.

Beth trained with Rivka Isachar, an Israeli-American cantor in Newton and studied voice with Merrill Shea in Brookline. She has a background in musical theatre, playing leading roles in community and regional theatre, and continues to sing with a pianist at various venues.

She says, “I find great satisfaction in teaching prayers to the congregation and to our choir. When we are all singing together, it is the best feeling in the world.”

MAT from Brandeis in 2008.

B.A. in English from George Washington University, Washington, DC, in 1979.






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