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Rabbi Michael Werbow

                                    Temple Beth Sholom | Sarasota, FL

Michael Werbow became TI's rabbi on July 1, 2020. Originally from Buffalo, New York, Rabbi Werbow was raised in a loving, Conservative Jewish household where he learned both the discipline and the beauty of Judaism. His parents modeled living out the values of tikkun olam, including long periods of fostering teenagers who were facing difficult circumstances at home.

Rabbi Werbow grew up immersed in Jewish communal life. He was active in USY in high school and spent his first year in college with NATIV, an academic leadership program. He initially studied accounting but his work with special needs campers at Camp Ramah in New England set him on a different course. He pursued a bachelor's degree in Special Education along with a Master's degree in Jewish Education. His subsequent work with teens in Lexington, MA motivated him to attend the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at the American Jewish University in LA where he was ordained in 2006.

Following ordination, he moved to Pittsburgh to serve first Assistant Rabbi, then Rabbi, at Congregation Beth Shalom, One important contribution to the Pittsburgh Jewish Community was a Jewish Education program built on the collaboration between the synagogue and a nearby Reform temple. He was also a frequent contributor to the Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle.

In 2014, Rabbi Werbow accepted a position as Rabbi at Temple Beth Shalom in Sarasota, the largest Conservative synagogue in that part of Florida. In addition to his spiritual and educational leadership at the synagogue--one of his signature classes was “A Cup of Joe and the Five Books of Mo”--he was active in local interfaith efforts, earning the nickname "Tomato Rabbi" due to his participation in a campaign to promote human rights for farm workers.

Rabbi Werbow is married to Melissa, a Jewish educator. They have three wonderful children: Maya, Lev and Asher. We are thrilled to have Rabbi Werbow as our new rabbi and welcome the whole Werbow family to the TI community!


For more insight into Rabbi Werbow's interests and ideas, you can read his columns in our monthly newsletter, The Menorah.   You will also find links to his teachings below.

Using Tech on Shabbat and Holidays (7/27/20)

Tue, August 4 2020 14 Av 5780