Husband and wife rabbis now leading West Palm Beach temple
Temple Israel in West Palm Beach has 100 years of history, and its next chapter is opening with an interesting twist.
Rabbi Carlie Daniels and Rabbi Ryan Daniels are co-partners in work and in private life: they're married.
It's unusual to have a married pair of rabbis, but the couple said there are other couples who have modeled some of what they can expect.
The pair met while studying in Jerusalem, and while their stories of those first days together differ somewhat, they agree they were bonded since their meeting.
"We are so similar in so many ways, and like they say, opposites attract," Carlie said.
Ryan agreed with that assessment.
"In our rabbinical work, in our professional life, we have sort of taken this journey together," he said.
They describe each other as complements in their work style and their personal lives. The couple has two young children.
"I really call myself a brainstormer, the big ideas, creative thinker and he's a partner in that for sure, and he's really good at taking those ideas and making them happen — both in our personal and in our professional lives as well," Carlie said.
They said they pitched the idea to work together as senior rabbis, and the congregation agreed. They've been unpacking their offices this week with their doors sitting just feet apart.
"Carlie is a big thinker, creative, calm presence, listener, empathetic," he said. "I think that I share in a lot of the empathy, the listening, but I'm a details person."
In their new roles in their new community, which is changing at a rapid pace, they are praying for openness, relevancy, connection and meaning beyond the walls of the synagogue.
"Our prayer really is to get to know the people who are going to be sitting in these pews and in these chairs," Carlie said.
In Jewish tradition and celebration, they are eager to be together, something that was more difficult or impossible during the pandemic.
"Our prayer is to listen and to just be and to hear," Ryan said.
The first Shabbat or Sabbath services will be held Friday at 6:30 p.m. The senior rabbis wish the community to know all are welcome to join their worship.
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