Rabbi Amy Perlin will retire in July from Temple B’nai Shalom in Fairfax Station, which she founded in 1986, the congregation announced. Rabbi Darryl Crystal will start a two-year interim tenure at the Reform synagogue beginning in July.
Perlin is believed to be the first woman rabbi to found her own congregation, according to a 2012 article in WJW. According to the synagogue’s website, a group of families invited her to join them in founding a synagogue after she moved to the Fairfax area in 1986. She was ordained by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1982.
In 2013, The Forward named her one of America’s “most inspiring rabbis,” calling her a “fierce advocate for LGBT equality.”
Perlin was unavailable to comment for this article. Executive Director Lynn Richmond, declined requests to comment.
The synagogue will honor Perlin on April 27-29.
Crystal, a graduate of the University of Maryland who was also ordained at HUC-JIR, has worked as an interim rabbi at 13 congregations since 2004. According to the Jewish Community Voice of Southern New Jersey, he collects baseball caps from every city he works in and likes his role as a travelling rabbi of sorts. “I love being an interim rabbi. It’s amazing work,” he told the paper.