MARBLEHEAD – Temple Emanu-El of Marblehead has named Rabbi Darryl Crystal as its interim rabbi. Crystal will serve the congregation from July 1 through June 30, 2024. The congregation is seeking a permanent successor to Rabbi David Meyer, who will retire in June.
“I look forward to welcoming Rabbi Crystal and working alongside him as we move forward with our senior rabbi search,” the temple’s president, Gail New, said in a statement on the temple’s website. Crystal will lead services, teach, provide pastoral care, officiate at life-cycle events, and fulfill all of the responsibilities of the senior rabbi.
Emanu-El will be Crystal’s 18th interim rabbi appointment. He is the current interim rabbi at Temple Isaiah in Lexington and has served in that role at temples from California to Illinois to Texas and Georgia. He also served North Shore Synagogue on Long Island, N.Y., for 18 years. He was ordained at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1985 after earning his undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland.
According to the Emanu-el statement, Rabbi Crystal will support and provide resources for the temple during the transition year: “The work of an Interim Rabbi includes helping congregations affirm their traditions, explore new programs, envision the future, facilitate conversations about their relationship and the contributions of the previous Rabbi, and prepare to have a successful transition with the new Senior Rabbi,” the statement said.
Pastoral care is one of the foundations of Rabbi Crystal’s work. He trained as a chaplain at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago and the Washington (D.C.) Hospital Center. Rabbi Crystal was an Eisendrath intern at the Religious Action Center, advocating for social justice and public policy.
He has worked on issues including LGBTQIA+ equality, reproductive rights, immigration reform, and the abolition of torture. He also has worked with interfaith communities throughout the country.
Rabbi Crystal studied at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem in 2003-04. He was one of the first rabbis to train with the Institute for Jewish Spirituality, which teaches rabbis, cantors, and educators about spirituality through study of classic texts of mysticism and Jewish meditation. Θ