Meet Our Rabbi
Rabbi Amy R. Perlin, D.D.
Rabbi Amy R. Perlin is the Senior Rabbi of Temple B'nai Shalom in Fairfax Station, Virginia, where she has served as its founding rabbi, since the congregation began in 1986.
Rabbi Perlin has an A.B. degree in Near Eastern Studies from Princeton University, Class of '78 (Summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa), and an M.A.H.L. (Master of Arts in Hebrew Literature) 1980 and ordination from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in NY, 1982. She received her Doctor of Divinity degree from HUC in May of 2007. Rabbi Perlin is the first woman rabbi in America to start a congregation on her own. Temple B’nai Shalom has gone from 0 to almost 500 families in 29 years under her leadership. She is an ardent Zionist - spending time in Israel every year, taking members of our congregation for life changing experiences, and supporting the Israeli Reform movement and IRAC, the Israel Religious Action Center.
Rabbi Perlin's rabbinate focuses on teaching (she is the teacher for our Bar/Bat Mitzvah program, Confirmation and Post-Confirmation classes) and counseling (with specialties in pre-marital, marital, grief, child-rearing, and illness counseling, as well as mentoring and serving the needs of rabbinic colleagues). She has spent the past 33 years trying to create a caring community inside and outside of her congregation, and meaningful worship experiences that attract people of all ages to engage in prayer and study. She is always there for our members in times of joy, sorrow, sickness, and crisis.
In addition to being extremely proud that TBS has the best retention rate post-Bar Mitzvah than any congregation in America, Rabbi Perlin is also proud of the fact that B’nai Shalom has sent more students to become rabbis than almost any other congregation in the past decade. Since, 2002, seven B’nai Shalom members have gone to Hebrew Union College (HUC).
Rabbi Perlin received the Jewish Women International's 2012 Women To Watch award. In February of 2013, she was inducted onto the Board of Governors of HUC's Jewish Institute of Religion. TBS is proud that Rabbi Perlin was named by The Forward newspaper in 2013 as one of "America's Most Inspiring Rabbis." The Forward's article profiles the rabbis who are shaping 21st century Judaism.
Above all, Rabbi Perlin is a devoted wife, mother, and grandmother. She has been happily married to her husband Gary for 39 years. The Perlins are committed to social justice and philanthropy in the Washington area and worldwide. Rabbi Perlin's favorite title of "Savta" (grandmother, in Hebrew) to Micah Ariel and his little sister Goldie Abigail, and her newest granddaughter Miriam Shira, is her favorite name of all!
In her spare time Rabbi Perlin is an avid reader of mysteries, enjoys cooking and entertaining, has a passion for home design and collecting vintage Art Deco, loves science and space exploration, dabbles in watercolor painting, and frequently travels the world.