Rabbi Allison Poirier

Rabbi Allison Poirier joined the Temple Beth Sholom community in July 2019, and is TBS’s first female rabbi. Rabbi Poirier brings to our community great energy, creativity, and the ability to make immediate connections with people of all ages. She embraces TBS’s goal of continued growth through outreach and innovating programming.

Rabbi Poirier has dual undergraduate degrees from Barnard College and the Albert A. List College of the Jewish Theological Seminary. After graduation, she spent two years traveling the south as an Education Fellow with the Institute of Southern Jewish Life. She has also returned to the south to lead several small-town seders for the ISJL Passover Pilgrimage.

She received her Rabbinical Ordination and Master’s of Jewish Education from Hebrew College in Newton. Rabbi Poirier’s Master’s Thesis explored the use of the Torah Godly Play curriculum with elderly populations, and she is eager to share Torah Godly Play with students of all ages at TBS. While in rabbinical school, she also served as Rabbinic Intern at Temple Israel in Sharon where she created the Chevra, a group for young professionals.

A native of Medfield, Mass., Rabbi Poirier has just recently relocated to Framingham with her husband, Matthew, and their daughter, Maya. When she’s not at TBS, Rabbi Poirier can be found hiking, reading, and cheering enthusiastically for all the Boston sports teams.

Read Rabbi Poirier’s High Holy Day Sermons from 5780/2019

Erev Rosh Hashanah: Fear and/or Awe

Rosh Hashanah: Rosh Hashanah and the Joy of Tidying Up

Rosh Hashanah: Climate Change on the Birthday of the World

Kol Nidre 5780_ Forgive and Forget

Yom Kippur/Yizkor: What is “Real”?

January 2020

Dear Friends,

As I am writing this letter, in the final week of December, I am reflecting on three fantastic events I attended this past week.

First, our community hosted Rabbi Josh Warshawsky as our musician in residence for an evening of Singing as a Spiritual Practice. We had over 50 people gather to learn about the ways we connect to music, and experience the way new melodies “taste” in our mouths. It is amazing how music invokes such meaningful memories, or sets the mood for special occasions like Shabbat. as Rabbi Warshawsky said, there are times when we have something inside of us and music is just the only way to let it out. For me, one of the most moving takeaways was learning about the “mishmar,” the night watch on Thursday evenings when we sing to prepare ourselves to welcome shabbat. We also learned six of his original pieces, and are so excited to bring new spiritual music to our liturgy. I look forward to bringing these pieces to musical kabbalat shabbat services throughout the year, and encourage you to listen to them on Spotify, YouTube, etc.

Next, I spent Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday at the Conservative Movement’s Conference, Judaism 20/20. I was so inspired by the energy of the hundreds of clergy, educators, and lay leaders who came together to discuss our future as a movement. As you have heard by now, I was especially inspired by the remarks of USY President Noa Kligfeld and I encourage you to watch the YouTube video of her speech if you have not already done so. She spoke beautifully about how Judaism needs to be “caught” and “taught.” Judaism is a religion we feel in our hearts (and our stomachs!), full of emotional attachment to our rich heritage. It is also a religion that requires intellectual curiosity and rigor, challenging us to engage with our texts, laws, and rituals throughout our entire lives. As we learn from the words of v’ahavta, Judaism demands the attention of our bodies and our souls. Noa reminded us that as leaders, we need to live our lives this way to demonstrate our spiritual and bodily commitment to ourselves, to our children, and to God.

Finally, I also spent Sunday evening celebrating our friends at MWJDS. I was so impressed by the love, care, and passion their teachers bring to every moment of interacting with their students. This school is a truly wonderful place for children to experience unique, tailored learning experiences. I see how this approach empowers MWJDS students to learn, inspires their curiosity, and leads to a lifetime of exploration.

As we begin a new secular year, I look forward to many more inspiring events and ongoing exploration with all of you.

Rabbi Poirier