Rabbi Allison Poirier

Rabbi Allison Lee Poirier is delighted to join the Temple Aliyah community. Her rabbinic work is driven by the firmly held belief that we are all partners with HaShem in the ongoing stewardship of creation, and that each of us brings a unique gift to this divine task. Rabbi Poirier is honored to share the joy and meaning of Judaism with congregants of all ages and backgrounds. 

Rabbi Poirier was raised just down the road in Medfield, where she was educated at Medfield High School and Prozdor of Hebrew College. She earned a Bachelor of Arts magna cum laude in Religion from Barnard College and a Bachelor of Arts cum laude in Talmud from the Jewish Theological seminary. She was ordained by Hebrew College in 2019, where she also earned a Masters in Jewish Education. During her years of rabbinic study she spent a semester at the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem and completed a unit of Clinical Pastoral Education at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. 

Rabbi Poirier’s passion for Jewish learning includes a deep commitment to lifelong study. In 2022 she studied in the inaugural cohort of Talmud Pedagogy Fellows hosted by Hebrew College and Svara, and she looks forward to sharing her love of Talmud study with the Temple Aliyah community. She is currently studying as a member of the fourth cohort of Rukin Rabbinic Fellows with 18Doors and is excited to grow Temple Aliyah’s outreach to interfaith families. 

Rabbi Poirier has recently relocated to Needham with her husband Matthew and their two inexplicably blonde children, Maya and Evan. She enjoys reading, gardening, and stand up comedy (watching, not performing!). 

Rabbi Poirier is eager to meet each of you. Please come by to introduce yourself, or attend one of the many meet and greet events throughout the year.

Cantor Linda Sue Sohn

Cantor Linda Sue Sohn (she/her) joined the Temple Aliyah community in 2011 and has been privileged to learn with our Bar and Bat Mitzvah students as they prepare to chant their Torah and Haftarah portions. She also enjoys learning with the adults in our community who wish to expand their knowledge of chanting Hebrew Bible texts and any part of any service. 

Cantor Sohn brings many years of experience within several local synagogues working with children and adults of various learning styles and abilities.
She was ordained as a Hazzan at Hebrew College in June 2011, while also earning a Master of Jewish Education with a specialization in Jewish Special Education. Her studies concentrated on developing teaching techniques and innovative Hebrew text formatting methods for individuals of all learning styles.

Her website combines her expertise as a software usability engineer with her work as a cantor and Jewish special educator. This website is visited by colleagues and other visitors from around the world and focuses on providing free innovative chanting tools, recordings, and Hebrew sacred texts formatted for novice Hebrew readers (and for those who teach them) both in print and on-line. 

Please stop by Temple Aliyah to sing, pray or learn, and introduce yourself to Cantor Sohn. To contact her, please send an email message or call the synagogue office (781-444-8522). She is always happy to hear from you.

Rabbi Emeritus

Rabbi Carl M. Perkins

Rabbi Carl M. Perkins became the spiritual leader of Temple Aliyah in 1991, and assumed emeritus status on July 1, 2022. Born and raised in Philadelphia, PA, Rabbi Perkins earned his A.B., summa cum laude, at Haverford College. He taught for several years at the Commonwealth School in Boston as a Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellow. Before pursuing the rabbinate, he earned his J.D., cum laude, at Harvard Law School, and practiced law for several years in Boston. Rabbi Perkins was awarded a Wexner Fellowship to pursue rabbinical studies at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in New York, where he was ordained and awarded a masters degree in Talmud and Rabbinics.

In 2003, Rabbi Perkins received the CJP Rabbinic Award at the General Assembly of the United Jewish Communities in Jerusalem. Subsequently, he participated in a three-year program of study at the Shalom Hartman Institute, at the conclusion of which he was named a Senior Rabbinic Fellow at the Institute. In 2009, and 2015, he co-led trips to Israel sponsored by the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) for Christian clergy from the Boston area.

Rabbi Perkins’ academic and professional interests include Talmud and Midrash, Jewish education, and keruv (outreach to interfaith families). He has taught and lectured widely in the Boston area, including at Boston College Law School, where he taught Jewish law. He is currently an Adjunct Instructor in Jewish Law at Hebrew College Rabbinical School.

Rabbi Perkins has published articles in Conservative Judaism, Judaism, The American Rabbi,, Sh’ma, and Jewish Values Online. He is the author of the revised edition of Embracing Judaism, an introduction to Judaism for prospective Jews by Choice, originally written by his late father-in-law, Rabbi Simcha Kling.  He wrote an article exploring his work as a darshan (interpreter of Jewish text in synagogue) entitled, “Serendipity and Pedagogy:  Presenting the Weekly Parashah Through Rabbinic Eyes,” which was published in Turn It and Turn It Again: Studies in the Teaching and Learning of Classical Jewish Texts, edited by Jon A. Levisohn and Susan P. Fendrick (Academic Studies Press: 2013).

The Rabbi is also actively involved with many community-wide organizations. He has served on the Keruv and Publications committees of the Rabbinical Assembly, and on the Boards of Trustees of the Leventhal-Sidman Jewish Community Center, the Jewish Community Relations Council, the Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Boston,  and Mayyim Hayyim Living Waters Community Mikveh and Education Center. He is a past president of the Needham Clergy Association and a past vice president of the New England Rabbinical Assembly.

Several years ago, Rabbi Perkins participated in a research fellowship program at the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania as the Rabbi Samuel T. Lachs Fellow in the 2015 cohort of LEAP, a program developed by CLAL-The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership. Coincidentally, Rabbi Perkins had been a student of Rabbi Lachs, z”l,  at Gratz College and Bryn Mawr College in the 1970s.

To watch or read Rabbi Perkins’ sermons, click here

Cantor Emeritus

Cantor Harry Gelman z”l

Cantor Harry Gelman z”l was our Cantor Emeritus. He passed away on April 6, 2012.

Cantor Gelman led his first service at Temple Aliyah on Shabbat Hanukkah of 1971. Born and raised in New York City, Cantor Gelman studied Physics and Mathematics at City College of New York where he earned a B.S. degree, and at New York University where he earned his Ph.D. He then pursued simultaneous careers in both physics and as a Cantor. His passion for Jewish music developed as a member of choirs in the Bronx, and he studied under Cantors Phillip Pfeffer, Gregor Shelkan, and Earl Lefkowitz. Before coming to Temple Aliyah, he also served at Temple Emmanuel in Wakefield, MA.

As a physicist, Cantor Gelman worked for fourteen years at GTE as the Manager of the Electromagnetic Effects Branch and Director of the High Voltage Lab. For eight years he also taught Physics at the University of Massachusetts at Boston, including the first year introductory course, upper level undergraduate courses, and graduate courses. He also supervised Masters degree candidates.

As our hazzan, Cantor Gelman led our services with great gusto. His greatest pride, however, came from passing on his skills to others. Over his thirty years, he patiently instructed hundreds of Bar and Bat Mitzvah students, teaching them the trope, their Torah and haftarah portions, and the davening of the service. He also taught these skills to countless adult members of the congregation. On a lighter side, his performances have been the highlight of many Temple Cabarets and shows.